Found 15 talks width keyword distance scale

Tuesday September 13, 2022


Cosmological observations (redshifts, cosmic microwave background radiation, abundance of light elements, formation and evolution of galaxies, large-scale structure) find explanations within the standard Lambda-CDM model, although many times after a number of ad hoc corrections. Nevertheless, the expression ‘crisis in cosmology’ stubbornly reverberates in the scientific literature: the higher the precision with which the standard cosmological model tries to fit the data, the greater the number of tensions that arise. Moreover, there are alternative explanations for most of the observations. Therefore, cosmological hypotheses should be very cautiously proposed and even more cautiously received.

There are also sociological and philosophical arguments to support this scepticism. Only the standard model is considered by most professional cosmologists, while the challenges of the most fundamental ideas of modern cosmology are usually neglected. Funding, research positions, prestige, telescope time, publication in top journals, citations, conferences, and other resources are dedicated almost exclusively to standard cosmology. Moreover, religious, philosophical, economic, and political ideologies in a world dominated by anglophone culture also influence the contents of cosmological ideas.

Tuesday May 25, 2021


In this talk, we shall review the impact of the neutrino properties on the different cosmological observables. We shall also present the latest cosmological constraints on the neutrino masses and on the effective number of relativistic species. Special attention would be devoted to the role of neutrinos in solving the present cosmological tensions.

Thursday February 13, 2014
Carnegie Observatory


Twenty years ago, no one convincingly knew the age or the size of the
Universe to within a factor of two. Ten years ago, everyone agreed on
those same two numbers to within 10%. Today, we arguably have brought
the errors down by another factor of two. But that has led to anxiety
rather than euphoria, renewed interest rather than complacency. The
problem is that there are now two independent, competing methods
giving answers of comparable precision and accuracy:
one is a model-based method using the cosmic microwave background
(the CMB), the other is a geometric, parallax-based method using local
measures of distances and expansion velocities. To within about
two-sigma the methods agree.  To within about two-sigma the methods
disagree. And basic physics (a fourth neutrino species, perhaps) hangs
in the balance.

I will discuss how this "tension" arose and how it will soon be
relieved.  A tie-breaker has been identified and developed, and it is
now being worked on from the ground and from space.

Thursday May 24, 2012
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii


Measuring distances to galaxies and determining their chemical compositions are two fundamental activities in modern extragalactic astronomy, in that they help characterizing the physical properties of their constituents and their evolutionary status. Ultimately, these measurements lead to stronger constraints on the cosmological parameters of an expanding universe and the history of cosmic chemical enrichment. Both these questions can be tackled afresh with the quantitative analysis of the absorption line spectra of individual massive and luminous, young B- and A-type supergiant stars. A spectroscopic distance determination method, the FGLR, can yield accurate distances up to several Mpc, extending to a local volume where the results can be compared with those obtained from Cepheids and other distance indicators. Moreover, and this being a unique advantage of the FGLR, reddening values and metallicities are simultaneously determined for each individual stellar target. These stellar metallicities are very accurate and can be used to constrain the formation and evolution of galaxies and to assess and overcome the systematic uncertainties of H II region strong-line abundances through a galaxy-by-galaxy comparison. Moreover, stellar spectroscopy provides fundamental complementary abundance information for star forming galaxies on additional atomic species such as iron-group elements. I will present recent results of our on-going efforts to study individual blue supergiant stars in galaxies within and beyond the Local Group based on medium and low resolution optical spectra collected with ESO VLT and the Keck telescopes. The promising perspectives of future work, based on the giant ground-based telescopes of the next generation (E-ELT, TMT) are also discussed.

Thursday July 21, 2011
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


I will review some theoretical ideas in Cosmology different to the standard "Big Bang": the Quasi-steady State model, Plasma Cosmology model, non-cosmological redshifts, alternatives to non-baryonic dark matter and/or dark energy, and others. Some open problems of Cosmology within the standard model will also be summarized.

Wednesday July 20, 2011
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


What's the dark matter made of? Do we have any idea of the kind of particle that should constitute ~85% of the matter content of the Universe? In this talk, I will briefly explain the properties that such a particle might have and will present some of the proposed candidates that arise from beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. Next stop will be to give an overview of the present status of dark matter searches, mainly focusing on gamma-rays. There is a tremendous effort currently ongoing that involves an impressive battery of experiments both at the lab and observatories around the world.
In a second part,  the importance of N-body cosmological simulations for the understanding of how dark matter halos form and evolve from the early Universe will be discussed. At this point, some problems arise that it's worth mentioning and that will hopefully lead to debate.

Tuesday July 19, 2011
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


In the first part of this talk I will present a historical review of the CMB observations, one of the most powerful cosmological probes. Following the first talk of this series, where Jose Alberto described the basic parameters that define the standard cosmological model, I will here summarize the constraints to these parameters that have been derived from these observations. I will also describe the current challenges in this field, in particular the detection of the inflation's B-mode signal through CMB polarization observations, as well as the experiments that have been developed worldwide to this aim, including IAC's QUIJOTE. In the second part, I will focus on the so-called ``missing baryon problem'', i.e. the fact that the half of the expected baryon content of the local universe remains yet undetected. I will describe the theoretical studies that provide hints on where these baryons could be located, and the observational efforts that have been undertaken in this regard.

Monday July 18, 2011
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain


This is the first talk of a series of four aimed to discuss about Cosmology. Here, I will review the basic concepts of the standard cosmological model, which will be further discussed in the following talks, as well as the observational evidence in support of the Lambda-CDM model. As the subject is very broad, I will focus the discussion on topics related with inflation, dark matter and dark energy. Moreover, I will mainly discuss large scale structure probes.

Wednesday June 9, 2010
INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy


We present recent theoretical and empirical results concerning the accuracy of Cepheid distance estimates based on optical and near-infrared (NIR) Period-Luminosity (PL) relations. In particular, we plan to discuss the dependence of both slope and zero-point on the metal content using a large sample of extragalactic Cepheids. Moreover, we discuss pros and cons of optical and NIR reddening free Period-Wesenheit relations. We also mention the impact that GAIA will have on the precision of the Cepheid distance scale and the role that E-ELT will play in the identification of Cepheids beyond the Local Volume.

Tuesday March 23, 2010
Vatican Observatory, Italy


A Friedman-like cosmological model, based on noncommutative geometry, is presented. Its Planck level is totally nonlocal with no space and no time. The dynamics on this level is strongly probabilistic which makes the initial singularity statistically insignificant. Space, time and the standard dynamics emerge when one goes from the non-commutative regime (on the Planck level) to the usual "commutative physics".

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