Constraining fundamental physics with cosmology

dc.contributor.advisorWeinberg, Stevenen
dc.creatorFlauger, Raphael Manfreden
dc.description.abstractIt is shown in three examples that future cosmological data may allow us to constrain fundamental physics in interesting ways. The first example illustrates that correlations in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background may allow us to put the strongest limit yet on the mass of a particle, the graviton, at a level of m . 10−30 eV. In the second example, it is shown that observations of the correlations of temperature anisotropies and polarization of the cosmic microwave background may reveal hints for the realization of a class of string theoretic inflationary models that go by the name of axion monodromy inflation, or, rule them out. If the evidence for inflation strengthens substantially, just the requirement that inflation occurred may be used to constrain models of fundamental physics. The third example shows that a class of string compactifications that are commonly used in the context of string phenomenology cannot support inflation and might thus be ruled out by cosmology. For completeness, a review of the physics underlying the cosmic microwave background radiation is included and some analytical results for the signatures of primordial gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background are given.en
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subjectAxion monodromy inflationen
dc.subjectFundamental physicsen
dc.subjectCosmic microwave backgrounden
dc.titleConstraining fundamental physics with cosmologyen