Aug 16, 2013
Prof. Nikhil Padmanbhan, Yale University
"Towards 1% Measurements of Cosmological Distances with Cosmic Sound"
Measuring the accelerated expansion of the Universe with the goal of better
understanding its underlying physics is one of the leading programs in
cosmology today. The baryon acoustic oscillation technique is one of the
foremost tools in our toolbox today. This talk will explain the underlying
physics of this method and the reasons it is extremely robust to
observational and theoretical systematic errors. I will then present the
latest results from the SDSS and BOSS surveys, currently the most precise
distance constraints from this method. These will include a new analysis
technique to undo the effects of the nonlinear evolution of the density
field and partially "reconstruct" the initial density field.
I will discuss the implications of
these measurements, and will conclude by discussing prospects for
improvements in the immediate and not-so-immediate future.