From tiny fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background to the filamentary distribution of galaxies seen today, maps of the cosmos reveal a dynamic universe that is rich with structure. I will discuss the evolutionary history of the universe and the astrophysical data sets we use to learn about it.
Although the evolution of the universe from seconds after the big bang until today is well-understood, puzzles remain. For instance, what generated the structure we see in the universe? To answer this question, we must consider what happened before the hot, dense "big bang" phase. Remarkably, signatures from this era may persist in the universe today. I will discuss what we hope to learn from near-term astrophysical observations.
Marilena LoVerde joined Stony Brook University as an Assistant Professor in the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2015. Prior to coming to Stony Brook she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago and at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University.