Found 76 talks archived in Cosmology

Thursday November 12, 2015
Prof. Eiichiro Komatsu
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA, Garching, Germany)


The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the fossil light of the BigBang, is the oldest light that one can ever hope to observe in ourUniverse. The CMB provides us with a direct image of the Universe whenit was still an "infant" - 380,000 years old - and has enabled us to obtaina wealth of cosmological information, such as the composition, age,geometry, and history of the Universe. Yet, can we go further and learnabout the primordial universe, when it was much younger than 380,000years old, perhaps as young as a tiny fraction of a second? If so, thisgives us a hope to test competing theories about the origin of theUniverse at ultra high energies. In this talk I present the results from theWilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite that Icontributed, and then discuss the recent results from the Plancksatellite (in which I am not involved). Finally, I discuss future prospectson ourquest to probe the physical condition of the very early Universe.

Tuesday September 8, 2015
Dr. Chiara Spiniello
MPI for Astrophysics


I will present results from The X-Shooter Lens Survey (XLENS). With XLENS we are unambiguously separate the stellar from the dark-matter content in the internal region of lens early-type galaxies (ETGs) to understand their interplay and to probe directly their formation and dynamical evolution. We combine precise strong gravitational lensing and dynamical constraints on the mass distribution with high signal-to-noise spectroscopy in the entire rest-frame visible to the NIR.In this talk I will present results obtained on a sample of very massive lens ETGs from the SLACS Survey, with velocity dispersions greater than 250 km/s and redshift>0.1.

First I will show how to constrain the low mass end of the Initial Mass Function (IMF)directly from galaxy optical spectra using a new set of non-degenerate optical spectroscopic indices which are strong in cool giants and dwarfs and almost absent in main sequence stars (Spiniello et al., 2014a). I will present unambiguous evidence that the low-mass end of the IMF is not universal. Then, I will demonstrate that the combination of this SSP modelling with a fully self-consistent joint lensing+dynamics analysis (Barnabè et al. 2012) allows us to disentangle IMF slope variations from internal dark-matter variations and, for the first time ever, to contemporary put constrains on the IMF cutoff mass (Barnabè et al., 2013, Spiniello et al., in prep).

Tuesday June 30, 2015
Dr. Martin Lopez Corredoira


Almost all cosmologists accept nowadays that the redshift of the galaxies is due to the expansion of the Universe (cosmological redshift), plus some Doppler effect of peculiar motions, but can we be sure of this fact by means of some other independent cosmological test? Here I will review some recent tests: CMBR temperature versus redshift, time dilation, the Hubble diagram, the Tolman or surface brightness test, the angular size test, the UV surface brightness limit and the Alcock-Paczynski test. Some tests favour expansion and others favour a static Universe. Almost all the cosmological tests are susceptible to the evolution of galaxies and/or other effects. Tolman or angular size tests need to assume very strong evolution of galaxy sizes to fit the data with the standard cosmology, whereas the Alcock-Paczynski test, an evaluation of the ratio of observed angular size to radial/redshift size, is independent of it.

Tuesday June 16, 2015
Prof. Fulvio Melia
Department of Physics, The Applied Math Program, and Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, US


The standard model of cosmology is based on the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) metric. Often written in terms of co-moving coordinates, this elegant and highly practical solution to Einstein's equations is based on the Cosmological principal and Weyl's postulate. But not all of the physics behind such symmetries has yet been recognized. We invoke the fact that the co-moving frame also happens to be in free fall to demonstrate that the FRW metric is apparently valid only for a medium with zero active mass. In other words, the application of FRW appears to require an equation-of-state rho+3p = 0, in terms of the total energy density rho and total pressure p. Though the standard model is not framed in these terms, the optimization of its parameters brings it ever closer to this constraint as the precision of the observations continues to improve. For example, the latest high-precision BAO measurements rule out the standard model at better than the 99.34% C.L. if the zero active mass condition is ignored.

Tuesday May 26, 2015
Dr. Alberto Domínguez
Clemnson University


The extragalactic background light (EBL) is the second most energetic diffuse background that fills our Universe. It is produced by star formation processes and supermassive black hole accretion over the history of the  Universe. Thus, it contains fundamental information about galaxy evolution and cosmology. Interestingly, it brings together classical astronomy and high energy astrophysics since gamma-rays from extragalactic sources such as blazars and gamma-ray bursts interact by pair-production with EBL photons. Therefore, it is also essential for extragalactic gamma-ray astronomy to understand precisely and accurately the EBL in order to interpret correctly high energy observations. In this talk, I will review the present EBL knowledge, and describe how we can extract information, such as the value of the expansion rate of the Universe, from the EBL. Finally, the latest all-sky Fermi-LAT catalog of hard sources (E>50 GeV), called 2FHL, and future directions of EBL research will also be discussed.

Thursday April 16, 2015
Dr. Alan Heiblum
Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science, Univ. of Cambridge, U.K.


Current scientific cosmology hosts a plurality of scenarios that articulate in different ways the precision astronomy's observations. However, this palette of alternatives is not taken as the true scientific production. There is a monist tendency to think that scientific results should be represented by a single scenario. The present work seeks to undermine the attempts to justify that tendency and to show that even if a single and final stage is waiting, methodological pluralism also would be the best option to achieve it.

Thursday March 19, 2015
Dr. Fernando Atrio Barandela
Universidad de Salamanca


The ``dark flow'' dipole is a statistically significant dipole found at the position of galaxy clusters in filtered maps of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature anisotropies. The dipole measured in WMAP 3, 5 and 7 yr data releases was roughly aligned with the all-sky CMB dipole and correlated with cluster X-ray luminosity. We analyzed the final WMAP 9 yr and the first Planck data releases using a catalog of 980 clusters outside the Kp0 mask to test our earlier findings. The dipoles measured on these new data sets are fully compatible with our earlier estimates, being similar in amplitude and direction to our previous results and in disagreement with the results of an earlier study by the Planck Collaboration. Further, in Planck data dipoles are independent of frequency, ruling out the Thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich as the source of the effect. The signal is dominated by the most massive clusters, with a statistical significance better than 99%, slightly larger than in WMAP. Since both data sets differ in foreground contributions, instrumental noise and other systematics, the agreement between WMAP and Planck dipoles argues against them being due to systematic effects in either of the experiments.

Wednesday November 26, 2014
Dr. Ariel Sánchez
Max Planck Institute For Extraterrestrial Physics (Germany)


Driven by the potential of large-scale structure (LSS) observations to shed light on the physics behind the accelerated expansion of the Universe, several ground-breaking galaxy surveys are currently under way. These surveys will measure the LSS of the Universe with unprecedented precision, providing new insights not only on the origin of cosmic acceleration, but also on many other important physical parameters. The ongoing Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) is an example of these new surveys. In this talk I review our theoretical understanding of LSS and the details of the analysis of these measurements. I also describe the cosmological implications of the latest clustering measurements from BOSS, with an emphasis on the problem of understanding cosmic acceleration.

Tuesday July 15, 2014
Prof. Lyman Page
Princeton University


We have learned a great deal about the universe from measurements ofthe cosmic microwave background (CMB). Most of what we have learned so far has been based on the temperature anisotropy combined with measurements of the polarization at angular scales of roughly 10 degrees. We are entering a new era in which the polarization of the CMB will be measured to high accuracy especially at degree angular scales and smaller. With the polarization we can, for example,  measure or limit the presence of gravitational radiation from the early universe and determine the sum of the neutrino masses. The polarization will also give us a new way to determine the cosmological parameters. We review recent results on the CMB polarization with anemphasis on those from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) project.

Tuesday April 22, 2014
Dr. Martin Stringer
Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias


Any viable theory of the formation and evolution of galaxies should be able to broadly account for the emergent properties of the galaxy population, and their evolution with time, in terms of fundamental physical quantities. Yet, when citing the key processes we believe to be central to the story, we often find ourselves listing from a vast and confusing melee of modelling strategies & numerical simulations, rather than appealing to traditional analytic derivations where the connections to the underlying physics are more tangible. By re-examining both complex models and recent observational surveys in the spirit of the classic theories, we will investigate to what extent the trends in the galaxy population can still be seen as an elegant fingerprint of cosmology and fundamental physics.

Upcoming talks

Featured talks