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Monday, March 9, 2020 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Rockefeller Hall, Schwartz Auditorium
General Physics Colloquium - Bethe Lecture Series, Prof. Suzanne Staggs, Princeton University
Refreshments from 3:30-3:50 pm
Title: The Cosmic Microwave Background in the 21st Century
Host: Mike Niemack
Abstract: The cosmic microwave background (CMB) emerges from the opaque early universe imprinted with anisotropies in its intensity and its polarization, over a huge range of scales. CMB photons subsequently traverse the universe for 14 billion years, during which time minute overdensities in the distribution of matter condense under the influence of gravity into mammoth structures like galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and the Simons Observatory (SO) are instruments designed to map the CMB with sufficient depth and fidelity to allow us to ferret out the information it encodes about the early universe: its fields and particles and their properties, its evolution and its dynamics. I will describe ACT and some recent results from it, as well as some plans and prospects for SO.