Gravity Group Astrophysics|Cosmology Lunch: Sarah Shandera, "Cosmic Variance, Statistical Naturalness and Non-Gaussianity"
The possibility of measuring or constraining correlations of the primordial curvature fluctuations beyond the power spectrum has opened up promising new avenues to differentiate models of inflation. Interestingly, mode coupling also introduces a new and significant uncertainty in matching observations to theory. In a universe much larger than our current Hubble volume, our local background need not agree with the global average background often used to theoretically predict the homogeneous and isotropic perturbations. If modes are coupled, the statistics of perturbations we observe (including the amplitude of non-Gaussianity) can depend on the long wavelength background which is not independently observable to us. I will discuss the implications of this result for interpreting the Planck satellite (and BICEP2) results and on the potential of future data to constrain the particle physics of inflation.
Location: Joseph Henry Room
Date/Time: 04/18/14 at 12:00 pm - 04/18/14 at 1:30 pm
Category: Gravity Group Seminar