Cosmology and the Constants of Nature
Monday, 17 March 2014 at 09:00 – Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 15:00 (GMT);
DAMTP, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
The Constants of Nature are quantities, whose numerical values we know with the greatest experimental accuracy – but about the rationale for those values, we have the greatest ignorance. We might also ask if they are indeed constant in space and time, and investigate whether their values arise at random or are uniquely determined by some deep theory.
This mini-series of talks (in mornings only) is part of the joint Oxford-Cambridge programme on the Philosophy of Cosmology which aims to introduce philosophers of physics to fundamental problems in cosmology and associated areas of high-energy physics.
The talks are aimed at philosophers of physics but should also be of interest to a wide range of cosmologists. Speakers will introduce the physical constants that define the standard model of particle physics and cosmology together with the data that determine them, describe observational programmes that test the constancy of traditional ‘constants’, including the cosmological constant, and discuss how self-consistent theories of varying constants can be formulated.
John Barrow, University of Cambridge
John Ellis, King’s College London
Pedro Ferreira, University of Oxford
Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London
Thanu Padmanabhan, IUCAA, Pune
Martin Rees, University of Cambridge
John Webb, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Registration is free and includes morning coffee and lunch.
Participants are requested to register at the conference website; where the full programme of talks can also be found: http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/events/constants2014/