In this talk I will describe research efforts to understand our infant Universe. These efforts consist of measuring the fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background which surrounds us to detect the faint traces of gravitational waves from the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang. I will briefly review the recent detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the LIGO instrument, and put early Universe gravitational waves in context. I will then discuss how scientists plan to detect these primordial gravitational waves and why detecting them would have profound implications for understanding the birth of our Universe and fundamental physics.
Prof. Neelima Sehgal has been an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Stony Brook University since 2012. Her research interests include understanding dark energy, dark matter, neutrino properties, and the early Universe.