3.30 pm, Seminar Hall
CMI Silver Jubilee Lecture
Inflation, Initial Conditions and Symmetries
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai.
The past decade or so has seen tremendous advances in observational cosmology. The results obtained teach us that the initial conditions for the universe were very special. Such special initial conditions can be explained by the theory of inflation in which the universe underwent a period of exponentially rapid expansion very early on. More generally, it is useful to recast the study of initial conditions in terms of symmetries of the wave function. An attractive possibility, borne out by a large class of inflationary models also, is that the initial conditions were approximately conformally invariant. Future observations might be able to test this possibility. The colloquium will review some of these developments in a non-technical way.