An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Professor Andrew Jaffe (Imperial College)* and Professor Glenn Starkman (Case Western Reserve)
* Contact: a.jaffe_AT_imperial.ac.uk
General relativity connects the local geometry of space-time to the energy contents, but the topology of space is unconstrained. Moreover, it is expected that any theory linking quantum mechanics and relativity is likely to exhibit topology change at scales that may have become cosmologically relevant.
Cosmological observations have shown that the Universe is very nearly flat, and that the topology is trivial nearly out to the last scattering surface, but we have no direct measurement of its topology on scales larger than that. This discussion meeting will give an overview of current research in mathematical topology, its application to cosmology and particle physics, and a discussion of recent observations from Planck and other missions. Confirmed keynote speakers include Philip Candelas (Oxford) and Jeff Weeks.
Tea and coffee will be available from 10:00 and again after the meeting at 15:30.