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Probing fundamental physics and cosmic structure with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and future CMB surveys

Michael D. Niemack, Cornell
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
PAT C-520

​The cosmic microwave background (CMB) has proven to be a powerful probe of the physics and cosmology of our universe. CMB observations are helping to address fundamental questions, such as the nature of dark energy and dark matter, and are being used to probe the physics of inflation at energies a trillion times higher than the Large Hadron Collider. Recent measurements led to several first detections, including CMB lensing, massive galaxy clusters, the large-scale velocity field, and the “B-mode” component of the polarization field. I will discuss these results, novel superconducting detector and optics instrumentation developed for the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope, and the capabilities of the Advanced ACTPol project we are building. I will also describe the science potential of next generation observatories, including plans for a “Stage-IV” ground-based CMB survey and progress towards developing new telescopes to map the CMB 10 times faster.

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