Astrophysics Seminar: Prof. Feraz Azhar, University of Notre Dame


Location: 184 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

The Flow into Inflation: An Effective Field Theory Approach

Prof. Feraz Azhar
Department of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame

The leading (primordial) account of several salient observable features of our universe today is provided by the theory of cosmic inflation. But an important and thus far intractable problem---dubbed the 'initial conditions problem'---is whether inflation is generic, or whether it is finely tuned, requiring very precisely specified initial conditions. In this talk I will present work on a model-independent characterization of inflation---that treats inflation as an effective field theory (EFT)---and which promises to address this problem in a novel way. More specifically, I will highlight recent work that addresses the initial conditions problem within the context of a dynamical systems analysis of a specific EFT of inflation, and will provide some remarks on the potential for such work to realize the promise claimed above.

Hosted by Prof. Garnavich