Gravitational waves could provide an unprecedented view of the earliest moments of our Universe. Forthcoming interferometers, both terrestrial and space-based, CMB polarisation experiments and pulsar timing arrays will probe a wide range of frequencies and of direct relevance to fundamental theory and cosmology. The next few years could provide an extraordinary opportunity to discover new and exciting physics.

The time seems right to re-examine theoretical expections for primordial gravitational waves in light of these ongoing experiments. Among the aims of this CTC workshop are:

  1. To explore cosmological scenarios in fundamental physics which can produce observable levels of primordial gravitational waves.

  2. To investigate the naturalness of large field inflation models which would leave a detectable tensor mode signature in CMB polarisation experiments.

  3. To refine predictions for the gravitational wave backgrounds and distinct signatures of cosmic superstrings and other violent phenomena in the early universe, such as phase transitions.

  4. To review the experimental prospects of detection from forthcoming experiments and to guide and motivate future detection proposals.

This workshop will bring together many of the world's leading researchers actively working on gravitational waves in cosmology, together with representatives of the key experiments.

The workshop programme aims to maximise opportunities for interactions between all participants, with relatively short invited contributions leaving plenty of time for questions and further discussion. A preliminary schedule will be available soon on the Programme page. The meeting will begin after lunch on Tuesday 25th August and will end formally on Friday 28th August 2009.


*Registration is now Closed*



Workshop speakers

Bruce Allen Albert-Einstein-Institut Hannover
Richard Battye Jodrell Bank/Physics, University of Manchester
Daniel Baumann Physics/Astrophysics, Harvard University
Robert Brandenberger Physics, McGill University
Cliff Burgess Perimeter Institute/McMaster University
Edmund Copeland Physics, Nottingham University
Neil Cornish Physics, Montana State University
Michael Cruise Physics, Birmingham University
Scott Dodelson Fermilab/University of Chicago
Ruth Durrer Physics, University of Geneva
Richard Easther Physics, Yale University
George Efstathiou IoA, University of Cambridge
Juan Garcia-Bellido Theoretical Physics CSIC-UAM, Madrid
Stephen Hawking DAMTP, University of Cambridge
Craig Hogan Physics & Astronomy, University of Washington
Andrew Jaffe Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College
Nemanja Kaloper Physics, University of California, Davis
Lev Kofman CITA, University of Toronto
Slava Mukhanov Physics, LMU, Munich
Andrea Possenti INAF,Osservatorio di Cagliari
B.S. Sathyaprakash Astronomy, Cardiff University
Qaiser Shafi Physics & Astronomy, Bartol University
Xavier Siemens Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Eva Silverstein SLAC/Physics, Stanford University
Alexei Starobinsky Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
Paul Steinhardt Physics, Princeton University
David Wands Cosmology Institute, Portsmouth University

*To be confirmed.

A list of invited participants can be found by following this link.

The workshop venue is the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, the award-winning buildings that have housed the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics since 2000. With its excellent facilities and good transport connections to international airports, the CMS has an excellent track record hosting international conferences.

Talks will take place in the main lecture hall (MR2) with lunches served upstairs in the central core (pictured right), a pleasant setting for research interactions.

Workshop participants will be housed nearby in Cambridge colleges. For local maps and further information refer to the Location page, while transport instructions can be found under Travel.

The local organising committee for this meeting consists of

Anthony Challinor
Stephen Hawking
David Mulryne
Fernando Quevedo
Paul Shellard
Daniel Wesley

The meeting is being run under the auspices of the new Cambridge Centre for Theoretical Cosmology (CTC) housed in DAMTP which is generously supported by the Stephen Hawking Endowment for Cosmological Research.

Workshop secretary:

Mrs Sue Gadsby,
CTC Administrator
DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical Sciences,
University of Cambridge,
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge, CB3 0WA, UK
Telephone: +44 1223 764267 / 764984 (fax).
Conference email: PGW09-admin 'at' damtp.cam.ac.uk