ICTP-Trieste/ICTP-SAIFR School on Open Problems in Cosmology

July 17 – 28, 2017

São Paulo, Brazil


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The primary temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) have now been mapped by the Planck satellite to near the limits set by cosmic variance and foregrounds. As a result, the future of the field will now shift toward large-scale structure (LSS) surveys and CMB polarization. This new territory presents both a challenge and an opportunity. While data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and smallscale CMB experiments like ACTpol and SPTpol have been available for a few years, these experiments have yet to compete with measurements of the CMB temperature in raw sensitivity. Ultimately, new experiments must surpass existing constraints if we are going to address unresolved questions we face today in regards to the physics of the early universe. Existing data supports the framework of inflation at early times, nevertheless, we know very little about the mechanism that leads to an accelerated expansion, either in the past or in our current universe. In addition, motivations from particle physics, and from the observation of late time acceleration, suggest our cosmological history may be more intricate than previously thought. Cosmological observations may be thus our only hope to address these issues.

The aim of the school is to familiarize students with both the important theoretical questions left in cosmology and the observations that may shed light on them in the future. The first week will develop the theoretical background, while in the second week future observational probes are discussed.

On Saturday, July 22, ICTP-SAIFR will host the workshop on open problems in cosmology. Presentations will provide a review of the newest developments in both theoretical tools, forecasts and observations. The discussion will be oriented towards the problems that are most relevant for further progress.

The application for the school automatically includes participation in the one-day workshop. There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for travel and local expenses.

The School will be followed by the “IVCosmoSul – Cosmology and Gravitation in the Southern Cone“​. I​f you w​ould like​ to register for the workshop​,​ please access http://www.ictp-saifr.org/IVCosmoSul


  • Daniel Baumann (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Paolo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste, Italy)
  • Daniel Green (UC Berkeley, USA)
  • Rafael Porto (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP, Brazil)
  • Matias Zaldarriaga (IAS Princeton, USA)



First week:

  • Daniel Baumann (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) & Paolo Creminelli (ICTP-Trieste): Introduction to Primordial Physics
  • Raphael Flauger (UC San Diego, USA): Introduction to CMB Theory
  • Oliver Hahn (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur/Université de Nice, France) & Rafael Porto (ICTP-SAIFR/IFT-UNESP, Brazil): Introduction to LSS: Theory and Simulations

Second week:

  • Julien Lesgourgues (Universität Aachen, Germany)Introduction to CMB observations
  • Will Percival (University of Portsmouth, USA)Introduction to LSS observations
  • Matias Zaldarriaga (IAS Princeton, USA): Advanced topics for the study of LSS




Online application is now closed




Additional Information