Astrophysics & Cosmology by J. Garcia Bellido

By J. Garcia Bellido

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20). Nevertheless, ever since Einstein introduced it in 1917, this ethereal constant has been invoked several times in history to explain a number of apparent crises, always to disappear under further scrutiny [21]. 146 Fig. 26: The Type Ia supernovae observed nearby show a relationship between their absolute luminosity and the timescale of their light curve: the brighter supernovae are slower and the fainter ones are faster. A simple linear relation between the absolute magnitude and a ‘stretch factor’ multiplying the light curve timescale fits the data quite well.

There are at present three different methods: First, one could search for scintillation light in NaI crystals or in liquid xenon; second, search for an ionization signal in a semiconductor, typically a very pure germanium crystal; and third, use a cryogenic detector at 10 mK and search for a measurable temperature increase of the sample. The main 14 For a review of Supersymmetry (SUSY), see Carena’s contribution to these Proceedings. 144 problem with such a type of experiment is the low expected signal rate, with a typical number below 1 event/kg/day.

31: Perhaps the most acute problem of the Big Bang theory is explaining the extraordinary homogeneity and isotropy of the microwave background, see Fig. 6. At the time of decoupling, the volume that gave rise to our present universe contained many causally disconnected regions (top figure). Today we observe a blackbody spectrum of photons coming from those regions and they appear to have the same temperature, ➤ ➦ ❚➤➦➥ , to one part in ❊➻ ➧ . Why is the universe so homogeneous? This constitutes ➠ ➪ the so-called horizon problem, which is spectacularly solved by inflation.

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