PIRSA:08110021  ( MP4 Medium Res , MP3 , PDF ) Which Format?
Fingerprints of the early universe
Speaker(s): Hiranya Peiris
Abstract: I will review recent progress in testing with cosmological data the inflationary hypothesis for describing the very early universe. I will present snapshots of different aspects of confronting the theory with data, including a 'bottom-up' approach: the latest results from a systematic reconstruction of the inflationary dynamics; and a 'top- down' approach: testing specific string theoretic constructions that attempt to implement inflation, while predicting distinctive observables not found in simple field-theory models. I will discuss the ambiguities inherent in attempting to quantify generic predictions of the inflationary 'paradigm' (as opposed to the predictions of specific models). Finally, I will discuss (in a manner accessible to theoreticians) the astrophysical complexities underlying an observational program to look for primordial tensor modes that will discriminate between inflation and alternative theories.
Date: 02/12/2008 - 2:00 pm
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