Charles L. Bennett
Johns Hopkins University
Monday, May 4, 2009
WMAP and the Standard Model of Cosmology
In this talk I will address the WMAP space mission and its impact on cosmology.
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has made an accurate full-sky measurement of the microwave background temperature and polarization fluctuations. The WMAP measurements help to establish our Standard Model of Cosmology. The WMP measurements also offer rigorous tests of the standard cosmological model. I will discuss the accurate determination of basic cosmological parameters (the curvature of the universe, its matter density and composition). When combined with other astronomical measurements, the measurements constrain the properties of the dark energy and the mass of the neutrino. The observations also directly probe the physics of inflation and discriminate between inflation models. I will also discuss cosmological questions that remain unanswered (such as, what is the dark energy?) and the additional experiments needed to try to answer our remaining questions.