Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 66 - Invited Talk.
Invited session, Wednesday, January 15
Frontenac Ballroom,

[66.01] The Theoretical Agenda in Cosmic Backround Radiation Research

J. R. Bond (U. Toronto)

The terrain that theorists cover in this CMB golden age is described. We ponder early universe physics in quest of the fluctuation generator. We extoll the virtues of inflation and defects. We transport fields, matter and radiation into the linear (primary anisotropies) and nonlinear (secondary anisotropies) regimes. We validate our linear codes to deliver accurate predictions for experimentalists to shoot at. We struggle at the computing edge to push our nonlinear simulations from only illustrative to fully predictive. We are now phenomenologists, optimizing statistical techniques for extracting truths and their errors from current and future experiments. We begin to clean foregrounds. We join CMB experimental teams. We combine the CMB with large scale structure, galaxy and other cosmological observations in search of current concordance. The brave use all topical data. Others carefully craft their prior probabilities to downweight data sets. We are always unbiased. We declare theories sick, dead, ugly. Sometimes we cure them, resurrect them, rarely beautify them. Our goal is to understand how all cosmic structure we see arose and what the Universe is made of, and to use this to discover the laws of ultrahigh energy physics. Theorists are humble, without hubris.

Program listing for Wednesday