We would like to invite you to our Fundamentals of the Universe mini-symposium, which will take place online on Friday, 25 June 2021 at 2 PM. To receive an invitation please register to the event via this online form!

The program for the symposium has just been announced, find a detailed description here below:

Program 14:00 - 14:30 (25’ + 5') Speaker: Arthemy Kiselev (Bernoulli) Title: Universal deformations of Poisson brackets and a mechanism of smooth structure for space-time. Abstract: Poisson brackets --not necessarily "symplectic", i.e. not necessarily referring to the canonical conjugate "coordinates" and equally many "momenta"-- are ways to process energy into motion. The given store of energy is often fixed yet the ways to spend it can be negotiated, which results in the infinitesimal deformation problem: "How can Poisson brackets be changed a little bit, modulo their tensor behaviour under coordinate reparametrisations, in such a way that they stay Poisson?”

14:30 - 14:45 (10’ + 5') Speaker: Giovanni van Marion (Bernoulli/VSI) Title: Applying Transition State Theory to Sphaleron Transitions

Abstract: Classical and quantum transition state theory (CTST and QTST) explains reaction rates in chemistry. The systems studied are those in which a molecule must pass through an intermediate excited state, related to a saddle point of the Hamiltonian in phase space, to be able to react. I present an approach to both kinds of TST based on expanding the Hamiltonian in normal form coordinates. On the other hand, classical and quantum field theories have similar kinds of processes to which these techniques might also be applicable. In our research, we study the dynamics related to so-called sphalerons using TST in a simplified model. In reality, the electroweak sector of the standard model of particle physics contains such a sphaleron, which might be an ingredient in explaining the observable universe’s matter-antimatter asymmetry.

14:45 - 15:00 (15')

Break

15:00 - 15:30 (25’ + 5')

Speaker: Karina Caputi (Kapteyn)

Title: Unveiling the Early Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

Abstract: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the largest space telescope built to date, will finally be launched before the end of this year. The JWST will open up a new era of astronomical discoveries and, therefore, will have the same level of public impact as its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, has had over the past three decades. In this talk I will give an overview of the exciting science that we expect to conduct with this new telescope, particularly in the area of high-redshift galaxy evolution, which will allow us to achieve a completely new view of the Early Universe.

15:30 - 15:45 (10’ + 5')

Speaker: Jann Aschersleben (Kapteyn/Bernoulli)

Title: Dark matter searches with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

Abstract: The existence of dark matter as the dominant gravitational mass in the universe is well established by several independent measurements but the nature of dark matter is still an open question. Self-annihilating dark matter could result in a very faint gamma-ray signal that cannot be detected by current generation instruments. However, the future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) will reach the required sensitivity to detect the predicted gamma-ray signal in a wide range of dark matter masses. The goal of this project is the search for a potential dark matter signal under the application of artificial neural networks, which promise to further enhance the performance to be achieved by CTA.

15:45 - 16:00 (15')

Break

16:00 - 16:30 (25’ + 5')

Speaker: Ema Dimastrogiovanni (VSI)

Title: Gravitational waves from cosmic inflation

Abstract: Inflation is an epoch in the very early universe, characterised by a nearly exponential expansion. It provides an explanation for the origin of cosmic structure and it is in excellent agreement with current observations. The particle physics description of inflation is, however, still largely unknown. Primordial gravitational waves have the potential to shed new light on this epoch. In this talk I will discuss gravitational wave production during inflation and highlight our future prospects for testing inflation using all available primordial gravitational wave probes, from the cosmic microwave background all the way to interferometers.

16:30 - 16:45 (10’ + 5')

Speaker: Dijs de Neeling (VSI/Bernoulli)

Title: A Relativistic Kepler Problem

Abstract: The detection of gravitational waves by collaborations LIGO and VIRGO give us a new way to study the universe, and in particular binary systems of black holes or neutron stars. Extraction of information from these measurements demands a good understanding of the dynamics. In this talk, we will see how the simple classical system is complicated by relativity, and ask whether we can recover some of the symmetry and simplicity by a tuned choice of parameters. This might give us an interesting link between the Newtonian realm and Einstein's GR