Nuclear & Particle Physics Seminar

November 18, 2019 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
618 Van Allen Hall

Mr. Kenny Heitritter; Department of Physics & Astronomy; University of Iowa

“Inflation from Projective Geometry”

Abstract: The scalar field inflaton, while an extremely useful tool in inflationary cosmology, lacks a solid grounding in modern particle theory. Recently, a gravitational model dubbed Thomas-Whitehead (TW) gravity has been constructed through the curvature invariants of a projective connection originally developed by T. Y. Thomas and J. H. C. Whitehead. This gravitational model incorporates a new dynamical rank-two tensor whose decomposition into trace and traceless degrees of freedom yields a scalar field. We will discuss the construction of TW gravity as well as its potential to provide a scalar field capable of sourcing cosmological inflation.