Cosmology: Light and Shadows
A series of talks and discussions about Cosmology that will took place during the week of 18th July 2011 at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
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.
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.
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.
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