Friends of RAS (only) Lecture: New frontiers in cosmology with Cosmic Microwave Background surveys (with a focus on the UK programmes). Speaker: Prof. Erminia Calabrese

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The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) is a unique probe of the physics of the Universe. This light, travelling since about 380 000 years after the Big Bang, contains relic signatures of the physical processes that took place at the origin of the Universe, as well as unique features allowing us to determine precisely the abundances of the main constituents of the Universe which govern its evolution on large scales. During the last three decades, the astonishing agreement between CMB theory and increasingly precise observations has led to the establishment of our standard model of cosmology. While the parameters of this model have been constrained to sub-percent precision, many fundamental questions about the Universe are still unanswered. In the near future, a series of ground-based and satellite experiments promise to deliver new breakthroughs in cosmology and fundamental physics via precise measurements of the CMB polarisation signal. 

In this talk I will give a snapshot of where we are in CMB cosmology, how we got here and where we are heading next. I will cover in particular the UK flagship programmes: the Simons Observatory experiment and the LiteBIRD satellite mission.


Speaker bio

Erminia Calabrese is a Professor and Director of Research in the School of Physics and Astronomy of Cardiff University. She obtained her PhD in Rome at Sapienza University and then moved to the UK in 2011. She spent four years in Oxford as a postdoctoral research associate and Beecroft Fellow, moved to Princeton University during 2015/2016 as a Lyman Spitzer Fellow, and then back to Oxford to start an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship. In 2017 she moved to Cardiff University to join the Astronomy Instrumentation and Astronomy groups where she leads a cosmology team supported by a European Research Council Starting Grant. Prof. Calabrese works on observational cosmology using the Cosmic Microwave Background to study the origins, content and evolution of the universe, and in 2022 she was awarded the Institute of Physics Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize, and the Learned Society of Wales Dillwyn Medal for STEMM, for her distinguished work on the CMB. 



Venue Address

The Royal Astronomical Society,Burlington House


51.5085763, -0.13960799999995