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Open Questions in String Cosmology and Inflation
24-25 October 2014

Program Organizers: Daniel Harlow and Herman Verlinde

The workshop will bring together string theorists and cosmologists to discuss central outstanding challenges in our understanding of Big Bang cosmology and the connection between CMB observations and fundamental theory. Potential future discoveries, such as the detection of B mode polarization of CMB anisotropies, would provide a direct experimental window into physics close to the Planck scale, and thereby put powerful constraints on attempts to realize inflation in string theory. Any model which can account for a detectable signal of primordial graviational waves will not be able to parametrically isolate stringy effects from inflation, so it will have to rely on innovative dynamical mechanisms for theoretical control. We believe the time is right for a serious top-down look at this problem. Besides a small number of overview talks, the workshop will consist of organized discussion sessions on a number of key questions.

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