Higgs Centre graduate lectures on cosmology,

Robert Brandenberger (McGill University, Montreal)
05.05.2015 to 07.05.2015

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.

Higgs Centre School of Theoretical Physics 2015

Maurizio Piai (Swansea) and Claude Duhr (CERN)
25.04.2015 to 30.05.2015


The first edition of the Higgs Centre School of Theoretical Physics will take place in May 25-30 at the Higgs Centre, James Clerk Maxwell Building, Edinburgh. The scientific programme starts at 14:00 on Monday, May 25th, and ends at 13:00 on Saturday, May 30th. The School comprises two in-depth lecture series, each involving five 2-hours lectures delivered on the blackboard, and a similar number of tutorials. For this year's School we are delighted to have:

Maurizio Piai (Swansea) "The Standard Model at the Energy Frontier and Beyond"

We will critically review and discuss several non-trivial field-theory properties of the Standard Model, with reference to their implications for model building and for direct and indirect searches for new physics. Topics we will cover include: the Coleman-Weinberg effective potential, the concepts of fine-tuning and naturalness, perturbative unitarity in WW scattering, precision electroweak physics and the electroweak chiral Lagrangian, flavor-changing neutral currents and the GIM mechanism, breaking of scale invariance and elements of Higgs (particle) physics at the LHC.

Lectures: Monday through Friday, 14:00-16:00; Tutorials: 16:30-18:00

Claude Duhr (CERN)  "Mathematical aspects of scattering amplitudes and precision computations for the LHC

We will review various cutting-edge techniques for the computation of multi-loop Feynman integrals inspired by modern algebraic geometry and number theory. We will mainly focus on differential equations satisfied by Feynman integrals, and the algebraic and combinatorial properties of the functions that are needed to solve these differential equations. We will illustrate these concepts with explicit results for multi-loop scattering amplitudes an integrals in QCD and the N=4 Super-Yang-Mills theory.

Lectures: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00-11:00; Tutorials: 11:30-13:00

The School's main target audience is PhD students working in Theoretical Particle Physics, in their second year on. Postdoctoral researches are also encouraged to participate.  The School is funded by the Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics (Edinburgh U.) and by the institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (Durham U.). We charge no registration fees and are providing dinner on the evening of Friday 29th May at the Amber Restaurant, part of The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre. 


For any question concerning the School please contact the Higgs Centre secretary Lyndsey Miller at admin-general [at] ph.ed.ac.uk