In the Beginning: Modern Cosmology and the Origin of Our Universe

Matias Zaldarriaga
Institute for Advanced Study
November 11, 2009

The quest for understanding the origin of our universe has been dramatically transformed since the expansion of the universe was discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929, thanks to impressive advances in astronomical observations and laboratory experiments. Cosmology is now widely regarded as a precision science. Although confidence in our models has increased, deep questions remain unanswered. In this lecture, Zaldarriaga will focus on what we currently think happened during the earliest phases in the history of our universe and what we hope to learn in the next decades.