Probing Fundamental Physics with Cosmology
William Kinney Principal Investigator
MetadataShow full item record
The primary focus of the proposed research project is to use cosmology as a tool for understanding elements of fundamental physics such as quantum gravity and the nature of the vacuum. At the same time, the proposed project will be firmly connected to new precision cosmological observations, in particular developing techniques for constraining early universe cosmology which will be immediately applicable to future high-precision cosmological measurements. The two major tasks to be undertaken are the phenomenology of inflation and its connection to the exciting new observational data and how non vacuum energy-based mechanisms/schemes could account for the observed acceleration of the expansion rate of the universe. A central element of the proposed research program is to extend and update previous work relating cosmological observations to the physics of the early universe, especially inflation. This will involve analysis of new data sets released during the period covered by the grant, and error forecasting for future experiments. The projects of this proposal include: updating and expanding efforts to constrain inflationary physics using observational results; developing and distributing new numerical codes for searching or characterizing inflation parameter space; investigating further transplanckian <br/>effects; and investigating alternate, non-inflationary early universe models.