Talk by Professor David Kaiser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA at QASTM seminar


Title: Nonlinear Physics at the Start and End of Cosmic Inflation

Abstract: Many models of early-universe inflation make predictions consistent with high-precision measurements of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), and can thereby account for large-scale structures observable throughout the universe today. The primordial perturbations generated during inflation were of such a small amplitude that cosmologists may study them in a linearized regime, working to lowest order in spatially varying fluctuations. Although linearized analyses usually suffice for understanding the dynamics during inflation, however, the epochs immediately before and after inflation involve distinct, nonlinear processes. In this talk I discuss recent studies of how nonlinear dynamics can affect the onset of inflation amid significant inhomogeneities on length-scales shorter than the initial Hubble radius, and how different nonlinear processes at the end of inflation are critical for setting the conditions for standard big bang evolution, during the epoch known as “reheating.” (Based on arXiv:1906.08651 and 2005.00433.)

Speaker: Professor David Kaiser, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Cambridge, USA
(“Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science,
Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT”
“Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, MIT”
“Associate Dean, Social and Ethical Responsibilities of
Computing, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing”)

Date and Time: 22nd October, 2020, 9.00 AM to 11.30 AM Cambridge USA time—-3.00 PM to 6.30 PM Berlin time—6:30 PM to 9:00 PM Indian time

Zoominar link:

Contact: Dr. Sayantan Choudhury (



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