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Measuring the Universe with a 10^26 inch ruler

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Stanislav Fort.

By making precise measurements of the geometry of the Universe we can learn some remarkable things, such as whether it is curved or not, what the nature of Dark Energy is, whether we live in extra dimensions, and whether there are new species of fundamental particles that have not yet been discovered on Earth. To help, we use a key observable quantity – the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) scale, which is the distance sound waves travelled in the early Universe. These sound waves leave their imprint in the clustering of galaxies today, and the ‘sound horizon’ acts as a cosmic ruler that can be used to measure the Universe and tell us about the physics driving the acceleration of the Universe now, and possible new physics in the first million years after the Big Bang.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Astronomical Society (CUAS) series.

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