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Monday, February 4, 2019 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Rockefeller Hall, Schwartz Auditorium
General Physics Colloquium, Professor Jeff McMahon, University of Michigan
Refreshments from 3:30-3:50 pm
Title: Mapping New Physics with the Cosmic Microwave Background
Host: Mike Niemack
Abstract: Measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) are a powerful tool for furthering our understanding of the origin, contents, and evolution of our Universe. Upcoming measurements will improve our understanding of a number of important questions including the nature of inflation, dark energy, and neutrino masses; and will enable searches for potential surprises including additional light relativistic species. In this talk I present the status and plans for measurements of the CMB using ongoing experiments (ACTPol and Advanced ACTPol), upcoming experiments (Simons Observatory), and a future experiment (CMB-S4). I will describe the technological advances that underlie the rapid progress in CMB observations including: polarization sensitive detectors which simultaneously observe in multiple colors; metamaterial antireflection coated lenses and polarization modulators; and overall advances in experimental design. I will conclude with forecasts for the science we expect from the CMB in the coming decade.