Big Apple Colloquium

Cosmology with the Cosmic Microwave Background: New Results and Future Prospects

From its discovery nearly 50 years ago through recent measurements of its fine angular scale anisotropy, the study of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) has led to surprises and spectacular progress in our quest to understand the origin, make up and evolution of our universe. We now have a standard cosmological model, LCDM, that fits all cosmological data with only six parameters -- although tensions in the data are beginning to surface. Far from being the last word in cosmology, the model points to exciting times ahead using the cosmic frontier to explore new physics, i.e., inflation, dark matter, dark energy, neutrino masses and possibly extra relativistic species such as a sterile neutrino. Precision measurements are needed to test this model fully and either magnify or resolve the cracks developing within it. This talk will review the current status of CMB measurements, with an emphasis on recent results from the South Pole telescope, and discuss ongoing work and future plans for increasingly sensitive polarization and fine angular scale anisotropy to thoroughly test LCDM.

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