Physics Colloquium - Precision Measures of the Primordial Deuterium Abundance

Event Date: 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 

Speaker:

Ryan Cooke, Astrophysics, UCSC

Abstract:

We are currently in an exciting era of precision cosmology. With the release of the cosmic microwave background data recorded by the Planck satellite, we are now in a position to accurately test the standard model of cosmology and particle physics. In this talk, I will present a new, precise measurement of the primordial abundance of deuterium, which has offered a new insight into the physics of the Universe just minutes after the Big Bang. Such precise measures, when analyzed in conjunction with the Planck data, now place strong bounds on the density of baryons and the effective number of neutrino species in the early Universe, and provides new limits on physics beyond the standard model. I will also discuss our ongoing survey to obtain new precision measures of the primordial nuclei in the era of the 30m class telescopes.