Cosmology in the High-Precision Era: Concordance or New Physics?
Over the past two decades, astronomical observations have provided ever more convincing evidence for cold dark matter, whose gravitational pull holds galaxies together, and dark energy, which exerts repulsive gravity that drives accelerating expansion of the universe. As the precision of cosmological measurements increases, they are testing this picture ever more stringently. While the simplest cosmological model passes many of these tests with flying colors, there are also some tensions with observations that hint at new physics, such as (even more) exotic properties of dark energy or dark matter, extra species of previously unknown particles, or the breakdown of Einstein's theory of gravity on cosmological scales. Weinberg will describe the current state of play in cosmological research, with particular attention to measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III, for which he is the Project Scientist) and to prospects from upcoming surveys and cosmic microwave background experiments.
Weinberg is the Henry L. Cox Professor of Astronomy.
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