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Cosmology, Particles and Strings - 2003

This was a program for advanced physics graduate students interested in cosmology, as well as astrophysics graduate students interested in particle physics.

Outline of the program

Recognizing the deep connections that exist between quarks and the cosmos -- the very large and the very small -- the National Academies' Committee on the Physics of the Universe (CPU) released a report outlining questions that they expect the disciplines of physics and astrophysics to cooperatively address in the coming years. Some of these questions were:

  • What is dark matter?
  • How did the universe begin?
  • Is there a cosmological constant?
  • What are the masses of the neutrinos, and how have they shaped the evolution of the universe?
  • Are there additional spacetime dimensions?
  • Is a new theory of matter and light needed at the highest energies?
The 2003 Prospects in Theoretical Physics program provided an overview of recent advances and results in these areas and was designed to equip the participants with the insights and knowledge to pursue these compelling new research opportunities.

The program was presented in a two-pronged approach, consisting of a series of lectures and seminars. The morning lectures started at a more elementary level and were meant to provide the basic techniques needed in the field. Students were expected to be familiar with field theory and with the standard model. They also were encouraged to read ahead about topics covered in the lectures. A list of useful reading material was provided. The afternoon seminars were pitched at a more advanced level and addressed the latest advances.