How to expand the universe by visiting Canada

February 19, 2014

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Canada– There is much to suggest that inflation has taken place, but we do not know the underlying mechanism driving the expansion, says CP3 Origins’ Jakob Jørgensen. The PhD student recently returned from four months at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he went to search for an answer as to why, for a period of time in the very early universe, the universe expanded more rapidly than it has ever since.

– My work at CP3 Origins thus far has focused primarily on creating new models describing this mechanism, and therefore it was obvious for me to visit McGill University, where Professor Robert Brandenberger and the group of researchers that works with him look into exactly these questions, Jakob Jørgensen explains.

Robert Brandenberger’s research centers on topics in early universe cosmology. On one hand, he tries to construct improved early universe models using input from new fundamental physics such as superstring theory. On the other hand, Brandenberg works on exploring ways to test these new models making use of new observational windows. He has conducted pioneering research in the field of Inflation.

Among the things Jakob Jørgensen worked on during his stay, he places special emphasis on reheating in inflationary universe models: The heating of the universe and the mechanism that describes how the epoch of inflation may end.

During reheating, the unknown factor that drives the inflation decays into the particles we know from the standard model, such as photons. Thereby, the universe becomes very warm, and the conditions that apply to the Hot Big Bang are created.

– It has been very inspiring to visit McGill University and learn about the things they are doing there, Jakob Jørgensen says. From my stay, I have learned a great deal about cosmology that I can use in my work at CP3 Origins. I have also made new contacts and found new projects to work on in the time to come. It has been really great to expand my own universe for a few months in Montreal, which is an amazing city to explore!

Photos: Jakob Jørgensen in Canada (above); Jakob Jørgensen in Montreal (below).