The Accelerating Universe: Lambda, w, and beyond

Speaker: 
Levon Pogosian (SFU)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-10-26 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Local Contact: 
Douglas Scott
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

While cosmic acceleration is well-established, the nature of Dark Energy causing it remains unknown. A flat universe dominated by a cosmological constant (Lambda) and cold dark matter (CDM) has been cosmologists’ working model of choice for nearly two decades. However, the value of Lambda poses a serious theoretical challenge, exposing a gap in our understanding of the vacuum energy and the way it gravitates. Intriguingly, there appear to be tensions between different datasets within the LCDM framework that would be relieved if Dark Energy was non-constant. I will discuss the evidence for this, as well as some of the alternatives to Lambda and ways of testing them with future data.

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