Quantum Field Theory of Inflation for Pedestrians

Quantum Field Theory of Inflation for Pedestrians
Nemanja Kaloper, University of California, Davis
Date and time: Wed, Apr 11, 2012 - 4:00pm
Refreshments at 3:40pm
Location: Hasbrouck 124
Category: Departmental Colloquium

Inflation is the leading paradigm for explaining the origin, age, smoothness, and observed structures in the Universe. It relies on simple concepts of local quantum field theory coupled to gravity. I will review its basic tenets, and then explain in simplest terms how `everyday' quantum phenomena, when taking place in a space with curvature, produce inflation and its signatures. Finally, I will review some recent progress in constructing large field inflationary models, and the chances for their experimental tests.