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Today's colloquium: The Planck 2015 Cosmology Results

Submitter: Jörg Rachen (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Description: Early this year, the Planck Collaboration released their '2015 Results', comprising the first accurate full sky measurements of the polarised Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB; see image above).

In my talk I will summarise these results and their implications on our cosmological paradigm (the so-called 'Lambda-CDM model'), including the solution to the recent, vigorous discussion on the detection or non-detection of primordial gravitational waves, which are generally considered the smoking gun evidence for inflation. Besides that, you will learn about the latest and so far most accurate determination of cosmological parameters and constraints on early universe physics, dark energy, effective number and total mass of active neutrinos, primordial nucleosynthesis, dark matter, and recombination.

I will compare the Planck 2014 results to those of other cosmology probes, including both early and late universe observations, briefly discuss potential problems and anomalies, and what we can expect from future experiments in cosmology. All this is preceded by a short introduction of the history of CMB research, facts and figures on the Planck satellite and mission, and an outline of the current cosmological paradigm.

The talk is directed to a general physics and astronomy audience and does not presuppose special knowledge in cosmology.
Copyright: ESA and the Planck Collaboration
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