Observations of nearby galaxies by Edwin Hubble nearly a century ago have taught us that the universe is expanding, and that it must have been much hotter at early times. Observations at radio wavelengths have led to the detection of the cosmic microwave background, radiation left over from this early phase. Precise observations of this radiation have provided us with a snapshot of the universe around the time when the first atoms formed, only a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. Rather remarkably, the small fluctuations observed in the cosmic microwave background radiation teach us that their seeds were created when the universe was only fractions of a second old. Professor Flauger will review what we have learned about the early universe and what we may hope to learn in the coming years.
Our Quantum Universe
March 4, 2020
Raphael Flauger is a professor at the University of California, San Diego. He received his Ph.D from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, and his research interests range from phenomenological questions in cosmology and particle physics to formal questions in quantum field theory and string theory. Currently, he is interested in extracting clues about fundamental physics from cosmological observations.