The Big Bang, Cosmology, and Particle Physics  updated February 15, 2016  D. Carrigan carrigan@fnal.gov (subject line must be sensible)

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Big Bang
Amazingly the interplay between the Big Bang coupled with inflation and particle physics can explain a great deal about our present universe including the cosmic microwave background, the absence of magnetic monopoles, and the formation of atoms, galaxies, and stars. Astrophysics including supernovae rely on nuclear and atomic physics as well as general relativity. The First Three Minutes by Steve Weinberg is the classic description of much of this story, albeit without inflation. Nearly all of this picture with the exception of the Hubble expansion developed in the last sixty years.  Much of the information for this picture has come from research in space.

There are things that this picture does not yet explain. It explains what happened after the Bang but not the Bang itself. Cosmology is also linked to the other pillars of science.

Questions for the next forty years

Even more precise measurements of  the three degree radiation are needed along the lines of WMAP .

Dark energy and dark matter must be investigated.

Gravity waves using detectors like LIGO and LISA will get underway in earnest.

Will we be able to understand the fabric of space? Does it have more dimensions?

Will particle physics be a key?