Professor Robert Brandenberger (McGill University, Montreal) will be giving a series of Graduate Lectures next week, 5-7 May. All lectures will be 11am-1pm in the Higgs Centre seminar room in JCMB.
Lecture 1 (Tuesday, 5 May): Theory of Cosmological Perturbations
The theory of cosmological perturbations has become the main tool in early universe cosmology since it allows us to connect predictions of models of the very early universe with current cosmological observations. I will give an overview of the classical and quantum theory of cosmological perturbations, including a discussion of gravitational waves.
Lecture 2 (Wednesday, 6 May): Alternatives to Cosmological Inflation
(This will be a Higgs Centre Colloquium followed by a Q+A session)
The inflationary scenario has become the paradigm of early universe cosmology. However, inflation is not the only early universe model which can explain the current cosmological data. I will discuss some alternative scenarios, in particular "string gas cosmology".
Lecture 3 (Thursday, May 7): Searching for Cosmic Strings in New Observational Windows
The Standard Model of particle physics is incomplete. A set of extenstions of the Standard Model predict the existence of cosmic string solutions. If Nature is described by such a model, then a network of cosmic strings inevitably forms in the early universe and persists to the present time, leaving behind interesting signatures in cosmological data. I will discuss signatures of strings for CMB temperature and polarization maps, for 21cm redshift maps, for high redshift large-scale structure surveys, and I will also speculate about the role which cosmic string loops could have played in the formation of super-massive black holes.