A Strigilated Universe: The Cosmogonic Significance of Primordial Gravitation Radiation

Wednesday, September 22nd 2021, 5:00pm
Online on Zoom,

Fellow's Public Forum

Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 5pm (PST) on Zoom. Please email Matt Hartman, mhartman@gtu.edu to register.

In 2015, for the first time ever, scientists announced the detection of gravitational waves spun out into the universe by the merger of two black holes. Numerous detection events have since been recorded, and upgrades continue to increase experimental sensitivity. There is one important class of gravitational waves, however, that still eludes scientists: the so-called primordial gravitational waves likely to have been produced in the earliest moments of our universe. Observation of these waves—the gravitational equivalent of the cosmic microwave background, though significantly older—could reveal much about the origin of the visible universe. In this presentation I review these developments and discuss their implications for our understanding of how the visible universe began. I also discuss a related tension in the construction of theories of the early universe that sheds light on the challenge of doing physics on “the whole.”

This event is free and open to the public. Registration required.