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Special Seminar: Effective Approaches in Cosmology: Large Scale Structure, Baryon Asymmetry, and Vacuum Stability

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Mark Hertzberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
When
24 January 2014 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where
320 Whtimore Laboratory
Contact Name
Contact Phone
814-863-9595
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A range of beautiful cosmological observations, including the CMB and large scale structure, have led to a range of deep theoretical puzzles. This includes understanding the origin and evolution of cosmological fluctuations, the origin of the baryon (or matter/anti-matter) asymmetry, and the character of the dark/vacuum sectors. In this talk I will employ the principles of effective field theory to address some aspects of these puzzles. Firstly, I will describe a systematic examination of the large scale structure in terms of an effective fluid. I will describe (i) the properties of this fluid on sub-horizon scales, (ii) its renormalization and perturbation theory, (iii) the explicit measurement of its fluid parameters, and (iv) the computation of the power spectrum. Secondly, I will describe a simple effective Lagrangian that unifies the physics of early universe inflation and the physics of the baryon asymmetry, and discuss its observational consequences. Thirdly, I will review the systematic use of effective field theory to unravel the weak force, the Higgs, and the stability of the vacuum. I will describe how the (in)stability of the vacuum requires new physics at high energies and how this could be related to axion dark matter

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