Lecture: Broken mirrors, lost antimatter, hidden matter-inquiries into the turbulent beginnings of the universe

Tuesday 31 January 2012 at 20.00
Prof. Daniel Treille, CERN, Geneva
Physics Auditorium, University of Geneva
24 quai Ernest-Ansermet, Geneva

As the universe was expanding in the very first moments of its existence, it underwent a number of changes that determined the structure it has today. Our understanding of these first moments comes from our direct observation of the cosmos via various "messengers" from the past. It also comes from experiments carried out at large particle accelerators which can recreate on a small scale the physics processes taking place as the universe evolved.

Going back in time, the facts have been reasonably well established up to about the first picosecond (a thousandth of a millionth of a second) of the universe, which is the point in time when we believe that elementary particles acquired their mass. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will help us to find out more about the exact nature of this transition. Beyond that, we have to fall back on extrapolations based on various models, meaning that hypotheses prevail over knowledge, particularly about the close victory of matter over antimatter. The LHC and other projects will allow us to make our models more precise. Preliminary results will be presented.

This event is part of the "L'Origine" exhibition, currently on display at the University of Geneva. For more information, click here.