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Title: Theoretical Research at the High Energy Frontier: Cosmology and Beyond

Abstract

The forefront of particle physics has focused on possible physics beyond the standard model which might help explain its peculiarities, including the nature of the spectrum of masses of elementary particles, the peculiar hierarchy between the Planck scale and the electroweak scale, and the possible manner in which the standard model might be embedded in a quantum theory which incorporates gravity. Over the past several decades it has become clear that several of the key out-standing problems associated with our understanding of fundamental interactions are inextricably tied to questions that are also of current interest in cosmology and astrophysics. At the same time, remarkable new data is being gathered that will allow empirical testing of theoretical ideas that have been around for a generation, from the discovery of the Higgs at the LHC to the possible detection of gravitational waves from Inflation at the GUT scale. The questions of the origin of mass, and possible grand unification are both tied to the possible existence of phase transitions in the early universe. Neutrino masses, as probed from astrophysical sources, may play a key role in elucidating the physics associated with the generation of baryon number. It is also possible that newmore » physics at the electroweak scale may play a role in the nature of primordial cosmological magnetic fields. Low Energy Supersymmetry as a solution to the hierarchy problem can predict, besides events detectable at the LHC, stable weakly interacting particles that might make up the dark matter of the universe. The possible existence of large extra dimensions might also impact upon the hierarchy problem, but these could also dramatically affect our picture of the evolution of the Universe both at early times, and possibly on large scales. Inflation may depend upon new physics at the GUT scale, but its detection may now be imminent with the possible detection of a gravitational wave signature in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Undoubtedly the most significant outstanding problem in high-energy physics is also a problem in cosmology, and indeed originated not from accelerators but from astrophysical observations: What is the origin and nature of the dark energy that appears to dominate the Universe? An understanding of quantum gravity, and perhaps a new understanding of quantum mechanics or quantum field theory may be required to fully address this problem. At the moment, the physics of black holes may provide the best opportunity to explore these issues, while the discovery of the Higgs suggests several new possible connections to physics that might be relevant for dark energy. Finally, pending confirmation of a gravitational wave signal from inflation, to date the only direct evidence for fundamental particle physics beyond the standard model comes, at least in part, from astrophysical neutrino observations. A remarkable convergence of theory, observation and experiment has been taking place that is allowing great strides to be made in our knowledge of the parameters that describe the universe, if not the origin of these parameters. Given the new discoveries now being made, and the incredible capabilities of future instruments, it is an exciting time to make progress in our fundamental understanding the origin and evolution of the Universe and the fundamental forces that guide that evolution. As a result, it is natural that our DOE theory research program at Arizona State University focuses in large part on the connections between particle physics and cosmology and astrophysics in order to improve our understanding of fundamental physics. Our areas of research cover all of the areas described above. Our group now consists of four faculty PI’s and their postdocs and students, complemented by long term visitor Frank Wilczek, and physics faculty colleagues Cecilia Lunardini, Richard Lebed, and Andrei Belitsky, whose interests overlap in areas ranging from particle theory and phenomenology to neutrino astrophysics. In addition, we interact with astronomers, and experimentalists in both Physics and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. In addition, Krauss and Parikh are associated, respectively, with the ASU Origins Project and the ASU Beyond Center. Both of these groups have helped us leverage DOE funds by supporting workshops associated with our activities from time to time. To continue the active program we have built up here, we are asking for support for 3 graduate students, and 3 postdocs (note that the PI will forego summer salary support in order to support one additional postdoc beyond the request in our last proposal for 2 postdocs). We have been fortunate to build a vibrant group based in part on University startup support for our program. Now that that support is coming to a close for most of our group, we are hoping that the exciting program we have created motivates continued DOE support at a level that, while not as great as the level we enjoyed with startup support, will nevertheless allow us to maintain our momentum.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). Dept. of Physics and School of Earth and Space Exploration
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1406309
Report Number(s):
DE-SC-0013605
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0013605
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Krauss, Lawrence M. Theoretical Research at the High Energy Frontier: Cosmology and Beyond. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1406309.
Krauss, Lawrence M. Theoretical Research at the High Energy Frontier: Cosmology and Beyond. United States. doi:10.2172/1406309.
Krauss, Lawrence M. Fri . "Theoretical Research at the High Energy Frontier: Cosmology and Beyond". United States. doi:10.2172/1406309. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1406309.
@article{osti_1406309,
title = {Theoretical Research at the High Energy Frontier: Cosmology and Beyond},
author = {Krauss, Lawrence M.},
abstractNote = {The forefront of particle physics has focused on possible physics beyond the standard model which might help explain its peculiarities, including the nature of the spectrum of masses of elementary particles, the peculiar hierarchy between the Planck scale and the electroweak scale, and the possible manner in which the standard model might be embedded in a quantum theory which incorporates gravity. Over the past several decades it has become clear that several of the key out-standing problems associated with our understanding of fundamental interactions are inextricably tied to questions that are also of current interest in cosmology and astrophysics. At the same time, remarkable new data is being gathered that will allow empirical testing of theoretical ideas that have been around for a generation, from the discovery of the Higgs at the LHC to the possible detection of gravitational waves from Inflation at the GUT scale. The questions of the origin of mass, and possible grand unification are both tied to the possible existence of phase transitions in the early universe. Neutrino masses, as probed from astrophysical sources, may play a key role in elucidating the physics associated with the generation of baryon number. It is also possible that new physics at the electroweak scale may play a role in the nature of primordial cosmological magnetic fields. Low Energy Supersymmetry as a solution to the hierarchy problem can predict, besides events detectable at the LHC, stable weakly interacting particles that might make up the dark matter of the universe. The possible existence of large extra dimensions might also impact upon the hierarchy problem, but these could also dramatically affect our picture of the evolution of the Universe both at early times, and possibly on large scales. Inflation may depend upon new physics at the GUT scale, but its detection may now be imminent with the possible detection of a gravitational wave signature in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Undoubtedly the most significant outstanding problem in high-energy physics is also a problem in cosmology, and indeed originated not from accelerators but from astrophysical observations: What is the origin and nature of the dark energy that appears to dominate the Universe? An understanding of quantum gravity, and perhaps a new understanding of quantum mechanics or quantum field theory may be required to fully address this problem. At the moment, the physics of black holes may provide the best opportunity to explore these issues, while the discovery of the Higgs suggests several new possible connections to physics that might be relevant for dark energy. Finally, pending confirmation of a gravitational wave signal from inflation, to date the only direct evidence for fundamental particle physics beyond the standard model comes, at least in part, from astrophysical neutrino observations. A remarkable convergence of theory, observation and experiment has been taking place that is allowing great strides to be made in our knowledge of the parameters that describe the universe, if not the origin of these parameters. Given the new discoveries now being made, and the incredible capabilities of future instruments, it is an exciting time to make progress in our fundamental understanding the origin and evolution of the Universe and the fundamental forces that guide that evolution. As a result, it is natural that our DOE theory research program at Arizona State University focuses in large part on the connections between particle physics and cosmology and astrophysics in order to improve our understanding of fundamental physics. Our areas of research cover all of the areas described above. Our group now consists of four faculty PI’s and their postdocs and students, complemented by long term visitor Frank Wilczek, and physics faculty colleagues Cecilia Lunardini, Richard Lebed, and Andrei Belitsky, whose interests overlap in areas ranging from particle theory and phenomenology to neutrino astrophysics. In addition, we interact with astronomers, and experimentalists in both Physics and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. In addition, Krauss and Parikh are associated, respectively, with the ASU Origins Project and the ASU Beyond Center. Both of these groups have helped us leverage DOE funds by supporting workshops associated with our activities from time to time. To continue the active program we have built up here, we are asking for support for 3 graduate students, and 3 postdocs (note that the PI will forego summer salary support in order to support one additional postdoc beyond the request in our last proposal for 2 postdocs). We have been fortunate to build a vibrant group based in part on University startup support for our program. Now that that support is coming to a close for most of our group, we are hoping that the exciting program we have created motivates continued DOE support at a level that, while not as great as the level we enjoyed with startup support, will nevertheless allow us to maintain our momentum.},
doi = {10.2172/1406309},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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