Final Report Summary - TOI (Theoretical Foundations and Observational Tests of Inflationary Cosmology)
Our group has studied the origin of structure in universe. If the early universe went through a brief period of inflation (accelerated expansion), then microscopic quantum fluctuations get stretched to macroscopic scales and become the seeds for the large-scale structure of the universe. Observations of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background and the distribution of galaxies then allow us to learn about the physical conditions during inflation, just fractions of seconds after the Big Bang. Our group has investigated the subtle imprints that the physics of inflation leaves on cosmological observables. We hope that future observations will give us further hints about the fundamental physical origin of the inflationary expansion, which to date remains a mystery.