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Brian Keating (UCSD)

Date: Tue. October 10th, 2023, 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221 Foldy Room
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Cosmological Claims That Cause Michelson & Morley Conniptions
Researchers using data from the Planck satellite, a spacecraft measuring the cosmic microwave background (CMB), say they’ve observed a hint (at >99.2 percent confidence) of parity violation on cosmic scales. If confirmed, this result would have profound implications, not just for cosmology, but for all of fundamental physics, including Lorentz Invariance. In this seminar, I will review the basis for the claimed hint of so-called Chern-Simons’ cosmic birefringence. I will outline steps scientists are taking to definitively confirm (or falsify) this provocative claim using CMB experiments like the Simons Array, the Simons Observatory, as well as optical polarization data from unique cosmic ‘lampposts’ (quasars and AGN) using small (0.5-meter class) telescopes.
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