About the event
The Department of Physics and Astronomy invites all to a colloquium featuring Dr. Matthew McQuinn, University of Washington, Associate Professor of Astronomy. Dr. McQuinn will present their talk, “Cosmology Today”, Thursday, September 16th at 4:10 p.m. in Webster 17.
Abstract: The last two decades of cosmological measurements have established fantastic agreement with a minimal 5-ish parameter cosmological constant plus cold dark matter model, “LCDM” for short. I’ll give a brief introduction to this model, featuring some of its successes, and overview the most exciting directions that are currently being pursued. I will focus on two topics — (1) limits on the mass of the dark matter from the existence of small cosmic structures and (2) constraints on the non-gaussianity of the (inflationary) quantum fluctuations that sourced all structure in the Universe. In these pursuits, as well as most others in cosmology, we are pushing up against a limit set by our understanding of the formation of nonlinear structures and of the astrophysics of galaxies. I’ll discuss some efforts to understand where this limit lies.