Universality from Inflation

When: Monday, November 05, 2012 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 114
Speaker: Sean Downes
Organization: Texas A&M
Sponsor: HET Seminar

The theoretical success enjoyed by Inflation is muted slightly by difficulties embedding the theory into particle physics or string theory. Anonymous scalar fields lead to nebulous initial conditions which makes it difficult to see beyond an anthropic universe. In this talk, I will review recent work aimed at tackling these problems. By searching for Universality amongst Inflationary models, we have developed a framework for understanding how inflation embeds into other theories in a model independent way. Moreover, these techniques shed light on the problem of initial conditions and the power spectrum of density perturbations.