RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Friday, 01 April 2016, 14:00-14:20; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Douglas Scott

"Modern cosmology: anomalies, damned anomalies and statistics"

The standard cosmological model currently fits a wide range of data spectacularly well. In fact so well that much attention is focussed on finding any small deviations from this model. In terms of the cosmic microwave background such features are often referred to as "anomalies" - there are several of them described in the literature. They might represent smoking guns for fundamental changes in our picture of high energy physics, or they might just be statistical flukes. I will describe some of the debate about assessing the statistical significance of such anomalies.