Stephon Alexander, Department of Physics, Haverford College

Topic: "Cosmic Inflation From Known Physics"  (Video)

ABSTRACT: The inflationary paradigm resolves most of the problems of the standard big bang model while providing a microphysical explanation of the origin of large scale structure in the universe. However, we still lack a concrete model of inflation in terms of the known fields of the standard model of particle interactions. In this colloquium, I will give a pedagogical account inflationary cosmology in the context of the standard big bang model. I will then provide evidence that inflation can be naturally realized from known physics that already exists in the Electroweak sector of our standard model. As a bonus, this model of inflation naturally is intrinsically connected to another physical mystery, the baryon asymmetry problem.