Cosmology after PLANCK

Date :From 2013-07-15 To 2013-08-02
Advisory committee :
Local coordinators :Rong-Gen Cai, Zong-Kuan Guo (contact person), Qing-Guo Huang (contact person), Miao Li, Bin Wang, Zong-Hong Zhu
International coordinators :Misao Sasaki, Gary Shiu (contact person), Ben Wandelt, David Wands, Matias Zaldarriaga
The last decade has witnessed remarkable advances in observational cosmology. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) encodes exceedingly rich information about our Universe. Its precise measurement can reveal to us the universe’s earliest moments to its current dark energy phase. As cosmological measurements of the CMBR anisotropies become increasingly precise, the connection between fundamental physics and observations is stronger than ever. PLANCK, a higher resolution scientific successor of WMAP, is anticipated to release its data around March 2013. In this program we would like to cover the following areas:
 
1)      Cosmological interpretation of PLANCK. With more and more accurate cosmological observations coming to reality, this decade is undoubtedly an era of precision cosmology. In particular, measurements of the CMBR anisotropies have been playing an important role in testing models of our Universe and constraining its basic parameters. These measurements in conjunction with other cosmological observations such as that of supernova, clusters of galaxies, and large-scale structure surveys can further constrain and distinguish cosmological models. Planck, the third space-based CMB mission after COBE and WMAP, is expected to provide high-quality CMB data. Its first major science results will be announced in early 2013. The precision of PLANCK makes it possible to confront theoretical models with data. The time is ripe to evaluate the implications of this first result from PLANCK on the effort to find deviations from an exactly scale-invariant power spectrum of scalar perturbations, detection of primordial gravitational waves, tests of non-Gaussianity, and perhaps even models of dark energy.
 
2)      Implications for inflation and fundamental physics. Inflation is an elegant paradigm for the origin of our universe. Not only does it solve several major puzzles of the hot big bang model, it offers a natural mechanism to explain the origin of cosmic structure. PLANCK hopefully can provide an opportunity to test the inflationary idea and to help establish the new ``standard model” of early universe cosmology. Furthermore, realizing a realistic inflation model within a fundamental theory continues to be a long-standing open question. String theory is the best candidate for a quantum theory of gravity. One may hope that some distinguishing signals of this theory can be revealed in the sky as well. Conversely, the precision of PLANCK may help us pin down the underlying physics of the early universe.