Top cosmologists and particle physicists from around the world will gather at the Granlibakken Resort at Lake Tahoe on Sept. 25-29 for the Cosmo 2006 Conference on Particle Physics and the Early Universe. The meeting is organized by the cosmology group in the UC Davis Department of Physics.
Fundamental questions about the laws of nature are being addressed by both cosmologists, who study the structure and origins of the universe, and particle physicists, who use particle accelerators to investigate the smallest scales, said Lloyd Knox, professor of physics at UC Davis and co-chair of the organizing committee. The aim of the conference is to bring together theorists and experimental scientists from both fields to discuss the latest ideas, Knox said.
In the hot, early universe particles smashed together at far higher energies than can be achieved in an experiment on Earth. The particles created in those collisions could have left traces in the cosmos that help us understand subatomic physics.
At the same time, from a deep understanding of the structure of matter, we might come to understand how the universe that we live in turned out the way it did.
Plenary speakers include Michael Turner, University of Chicago; Lisa Randall, Harvard University; Neil Turok, Cambridge University; and Andrei Linde, Stanford University. Traditionally, conferences in the Cosmo series give priority to younger investigators, Knox said. The meeting takes place every year, alternating between venues in Europe and North America.
Cosmo 2006 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and the Department of Physics at UC Davis, Carolyn and Timothy Ferris, and the Swig Foundation.