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Unveiling Cosmic Origins: The Inflationary Universe

September 25, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

in the series
Green College Resident Members’ Series

Coach House, Green College, UBC

Pedro Villalba González, Physics and Astronomy

There is much we have learned in the last century about our universe—its age, its composition, its expansive nature—but one of the most important questions in cosmology still remains unsolved: did the universe undergo a period of “cosmic inflation” in which it expanded exponentially when it was only a tiny fraction of seconds old? To answer this question, cosmologists have centred their attention on the earliest light we can measure from the universe: the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), emitted when the universe was just 300,000 years old. If inflation did occur, it might have left a unique signature in the CMB—an elusive “inflationary hint.” Over the past two decades, scientists have diligently scoured the CMB for this signal, but it remains elusive. In this talk, Pedro Villalba González will introduce inflation, the CMB and how humans are trying to unveil the very beginning of the universe.