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Early Universe Modelling and Confrontation with Cosmological Data


In this exploratory project we will study the non-trivial interrelations between fundamental theory, phenomenology and observation in cosmology, in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the physics of the early universe, and to identify new promising directions for future research. The project will develop along three interrelated lines of work. First, we will seek new possibilities for cosmological model building in string theory and explore the range of phenomenological features that theory allows. One focal point will be our model of Wilson line inflation, which offers a new path for understanding inflation in heterotic theory - an open problem - and which presents rich phenomenology, including non-Gaussianity and gravitational waves. This connects to our second line of work, which is a quantitative study of the phenomenological features of new and existing models. We will focus on hybrid 2-field models that are both well-motivated and phenomenologically rich, producing isocurvature modes, non-Gaussianity and cosmic strings. We will study these features quantitatively and use our state of the art string evolution model to quantify observational signals coming from cosmic strings. Third, we will explore non-trivial relations between high-energy physics sectors that do not play a dominant role in the early universe, but are part of the same underlying theory and can produce observable signals in the late universe. We will use high quality data in innovative ways to constrain high-energy parameters in the underlying fundamental theory. We shall give special attention to axions (e.g. from type IIB string theory used to build the 2-field models mentioned above) and their coupling to photons, fermions and gravitons. This is an interdisciplinary project combining information from theory, phenomenology and observation to maximize impact. There are many connections between the different lines of work and unexplored areas where new promising directions could be found.

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University Park
NG7 2RD Nottingham
United Kingdom

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Type d’activité
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Contact administratif
Paul Cartledge (Mr.)
Contribution de l’UE
€ 193 349,60