Quantum Aspects of Inflationary Cosmology

24 June - 19 July 2024

Andrew Long, Edward (Rocky) Kolb, Jun´ichi Yokoyama, Rachel Rosen, Viatcheslav (Slava) Mukhanov

Astrophysical and cosmological observations have revealed a wealth of information about the structure, composition, and evolution of the Universe. Although we can classify the ingredients that compose the Universe today, we don't yet know their origin. Their genesis must have been the early stages of the big bang and involved particle physics beyond the standard model. This MIAPbP program is centered around topics that sit at the connection between particle physics and cosmology:  

1) cosmological inflation,

2) the end of inflation,

3) cosmological relics, and

4) gravitational particle production.  

How did quantum fluctuations of the inflaton field provide the seeds for structure on cosmological scales? Did other fields play a role during inflation? How did their quantum fluctuations imprint on cosmological observables (e.g., non-Gaussianity) or survive as cosmological relics today (e.g., dark matter, matter/antimatter asymmetry)? How can these degrees of freedom be embedded into a compelling UV theory? By bringing together experts on particle physics and cosmology, we hope to develop a deeper understanding of these tough questions over the course of this 4-week MIAPbP meeting.

Discussions will be organised to maximise the interaction between different communities and will be focussed on these themes:


Week 1 (24/6 to 28/6): Cosmological inflation

Main topics:  inflationary observables, interface with data, string cosmology, beyond Einstein gravity


Week 2 (1/7 to 5/7): The end of inflation

Main topics: reheating, non-linear dynamics, gravitational waves


Week 3 (8/7 to 12/7): Cosmological relics

Main topics: dark matter / radiation, baryogenesis, gravitational waves, neutrinos, primordial magnetic fields, topological defects


Week 4 (15/7 to 19/7): Gravitational particle production

Main topics: QFT in curved spacetime, analytical techniques / regularization and renormalization, thermal freeze-in, dark matter