Planck probes the standard model(s)

Tue, 16/02/2016 - 12:00 - 13:00
Prof. Andrew Jaffe (Imperial College London)

The recent results from the Planck Satellite, combined with other astrophysical data, allow us to build a remarkable and simple description of the history and contents of the Universe. I will give an overview of these results and their implications for the Lambda Cold Dark Matter standard model of cosmology, including a discussion of more esoteric extensions such as the possibility of non-trivial large-scale geometry or topology. I will also briefly discuss recent observations of CMB polarization from Polarbear (as a team member) and BICEP2 (as an outsider), and their implications for these models when combined with polarisation data from Planck. The standard cosmological model is, however, not complete, nor are the current data completely consistent between different experiments, even those using the same underlying data. I will also highlight some of these inconsistencies and whether they can be explained by statistical flukes, systematic errors in the analyses of the various datasets, or whether new physics beyond the standard models of cosmology and particle physics might be required.