16 November 2018
Ana Achúcarro (Leiden): Inflating away from the swamp
Abstract: Cosmic inflation – an exponential expansion of space– is currently the leading mechanism to generate the initial conditions for our universe, including the primordial density perturbations that seeded galaxies and other structures. High energy physics models supporting inflation are severely constrained e.g. by observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background. On the other hand, the embedding of inflation in a UV complete theory like string theory is a long-standing open problem. It was recently brought into focus again in the context of the so-called “swampland” discussion. I will explain some of the issues and how they may be resolved.
Gianfranco Bertone (UvA/GRAPPA): A new era in the quest for dark matter
Abstract: There is a growing sense of ‘crisis’ in the dark-matter particle community, which arises from the absence of evidence for the most popular candidates for dark-matter particles—such as weakly interacting massive particles, axions and sterile neutrinos—despite the enormous effort that has gone into searching for these particles. In this talk I discuss what we have learned about the nature of dark matter from past experiments and the implications for planned dark-matter searches in the next decade. I argue that diversifying the experimental effort and incorporating astronomical surveys and gravitational-wave observations is our best hope of making progress on the dark-matter problem.
Rohini Godbole (IIS Bangalore): Physics of the SM and beyond through the Higgs, top and heavy flavour portal!
Abstract: In this talk I will summarise the current status of the SM and physics beyond it in light of the results from the LHC experiments so far. I will discuss implications of current situation for some of the theoretical proposals that have been around and which address a variety of observational and esthetic issues which clearly need physics beyond the SM (BSM). I will end by giving examples of how a precision study of the Higgs, the top quark and B-physics can help us probe some of this physics.
Stefan Vandoren (UU): Chaos with Majoranas
Abstract: We review and discuss an extension of the Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model and show it exhibits maximal chaos. These models flow to conformal field theories in the IR and describe some properties of black holes.