The Nature of Dark Energy

May 30, 2011 to June 3, 2011
9:00am to 6:00pm


Specialist level



With the most recent measurements of the cosmic microwave background anisotropies (CMB) and large scale structures (LSS) of the universe as well as various other astronomical observations, it is now possible to have a clear and consistent picture of the history and content of the universe since primordial nucleosynthesis. A feaverish activity is taking place for measuring the cosmological parameters with great precision, and for understanding better the origin of primordial perturbations, the nature of dark energy and dark matter, the mechanisms responsible for the formation of non-linear stuctures, and the implications of cosmological observations for particle physics.
The aim of the workshop is to understand the nature of dark energy. To this end, we will open discussions for the arguments that have led physicists and astronomers to accept dark energy as the current preferable candidate to explain the present universe acceleration. We highlight the problems and the attempts to overcome the difficulties related to such a component. We also consider alternative theories capable of explaining the acceleration of the Universe, such as modi?cations of gravity.
We will also explore the observational consequences, reviewing the present observations and discussing the future experiments that will help us to learn more about our universe. Moreover, in a landscape of hardly compelling theories, it is an important task to build simple measurable parameters useful for future experiments that will help us to understand more about the evolution of the universe.
The program will consist mainly on a few lectures and long discussion sessions, leaving plenty of time in the afternoon for interactions and research.
Moreover, we will benefit from the existence of a brand new building (finished in 2010), equiped with new improved facilities (library, wifi, blackboards, discussion rooms, coffee lounges) and modern offices and desks for all participants.