Theory Group Special Seminar, 22 February 2018

Matthew Johnson, Perimeter Institute

Understanding the Ultra Large Scale Structure of the Universe through observation and theory

abstract

Anomalies in the CMB on large angular scales could find an explanation in terms of pre-inflationary physics or intrinsic statistical anisotropies. However, due to cosmic variance it is difficult to conclusively test many of these ideas using the primary cosmic microwave background (CMB) alone. In this talk, I will outline a program to place stringent observational constraints on theories that predict ultra-large scale structure or statistical anisotropies using the Sunyaev Zel'dovich effect and tracers of large-scale structure. These methods will become accessible with next-generation CMB experiments and planned galaxy surveys. I will forecast constraints on novel models in the scalar and tensor sectors. The prospect of better observations makes it important to deliver precise predictions on the theory side. I will end by briefly describing efforts to connect the pre-inflationary phase in models with a minimal number of e-folds to observation using numerical relativity.