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Precision Cosmology with the Cosmic Microwave Background

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) provides unparalleled views into the early universe and its later evolution. Recent and ongoing experiments have contributed to our understanding of neutrinos, dark energy, and dark matter through measurements of large-scale structure imprinted on the CMB and constrained the conditions in the early universe, tightly restricting inflationary and other cosmological models through measurements of CMB polarization. Next-generation CMB experiments like Simons Observatory will further constrain the sum of the neutrino masses and number of relativistic species, expand our understanding of dark energy and dark matter, and set new constraints on cosmological models describing the first moments of the universe. The polarization in the CMB is faint, so future experiments must be orders of magnitude more sensitive. Additionally, both polarized foregrounds from synchrotron and dust emission and systematic effects from our telescopes can create spurious signals. Characterizing and removing foregrounds requires wide frequency coverage, while systematic effects must be modeled, mitigated and calibrated at unprecedented levels. I will present an overview of Simons Observatory and describe the advances in instrumentation and analysis that will make this leap in our scientific understanding possible.

MS3153, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle

Sara Simon, University of Michigan

January 31, 2019
2:00pm - 3:00pm