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TAPIR Seminar

Friday, May 20, 2016
2:00pm to 3:00pm
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Cahill 370
Cosmological Tests of Gravity Come of Age
Tessa Baker, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Physics, Univ of Oxford and Univ of Pennsylvania,

Thus far, tests of General Relativity on cosmological distance scales have always lagged behind small-scale probes in precision. This situation has been further hindered by the rapid proliferation of alternative gravity theories; currently we have very little indication which, if any, of these should be considered frontrunners.

I'll introduce both the space of gravity theories and space of gravitational tests currently before us, highlighting the different questions asked by the cosmological and strong-field communities. I'll explain how, following recent progress in constructing model-independent frameworks for describing deviations from GR, we are finally in a good position to place sensible, agnostic constraints on alternative gravities.

I'll indicate how the next generation of large experiments — in particular, the LSST in combination with intensity mapping surveys — are expected to place cosmological tests of gravity on a roughly equal footing with small-scale probes.

 

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at 4280 or by email at joann@caltech.edu.