Colloquium Ehrenfestii: Ben Wandelt (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, UPMC/CNRS/Paris 6): "Cosmic past, present and future"





De Sitterzaal, Leiden


Colloquium Ehrenfestii


"How can we learn what banged at the Big Bang? We use astronomical observations to probe the epoch in the very early Universe where quantum fluctuations imprinted the seeds of cosmic structure. I will summarize the main results of the analysis of the cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies as seen by the Planck mission data released in March 2013, with special emphasis on the non-Gaussianity analysis which resulted in the highest precision tests to date of physical mechanisms for the origin of cosmic structure. Then I will turn to the future and highlight the challenges and opportunities of the next generation of probes of the large scale structure of the universe aiming to piece together the outstanding puzzles of cosmic past, present, and future - the nature of the initial conditions, dark matter and dark energy.

Through the talk I will show some glimpses of our lab bench where are developing innovative statistical approaches for the ab initio analysis of physical systems with many millions of degrees of freedom."

Please Note:  Before the Colloquium, there is a common dinner in the canteen located on the ground floor of the Oort building. This dinner starts at 18:00 hours sharp and is free of charge, under the condition that one attends the colloquium and that one has made a reservation before noon on the Tuesday preceding the colloquium. The registration form is only accessible from within the University (to block spammers); if you would like to register for the dinner from outside the University, please send an email to

The revolving doors of the Oort building is accessible until 9 pm after that one should instead use the sliding doors directly adjacent to the Huygens building: these can be opened with an electronic key (seek help from locals).

The Colloquium Ehrenfestii lecture starts at 19:30 hours and will be held in De Sitterzaal