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Friday, February 26, 2016
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium

TAPIR Seminar

Confronting the Standard Model with Big Bang Nucleosynthesis
Ryan Cooke, Hubble Fellow, Dept of Astronomy & Astrophysics, U.C. Santa Cruz,

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 the latest results from my surveys to discover and characterize the most metal deficient, gas-rich galaxies currently known. Such environments allow us study the abundances of the primordial light elements that were made just minutes after the Big Bang. I will present the latest measurements of the primordial abundance of deuterium and helium, and compare these measurements to detailed calculations of primordial nucleosynthesis. My talk will highlight the current challenges faced by the Standard Model, and the future prospects to address some of the most pressing shortcomings. New measurements of the primordial deuterium abundance, the primordial helium abundance, and the primordial helium isotope ratio in near-pristine environments will lead to much improved limits on possible departures from the Standard Model.

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at 4280 or by email at