Date(s) - 21/01/2009
3:20 pm - 4:20 pm
Title: Inflation in String Theory
Speaker: Dr. Liam McAllister – Cornell University
Institute: Cornell University
Location: ABB 102
Spectacular advances in observational cosmology have given strong support to the idea that the Hot Big Bang was preceded by a period of cosmic inflation. This is a compelling paradigm, but one with serious theoretical shortcomings. The most important issue is that inflation is sensitive to Planck-scale physics, and so a theory valid at this scale — such as string theory — is required. Due to much recent progress in string theory, it is now possible to construct realistic string theory models of inflation, some of which have distinctive signatures. I will give an overview of these advances and will argue that the interface between string theory and cosmology is the best hope for a test of string theory.