Recently there has been considerably increased interest in the thermal history of the universe. A knowledge of this history is crucial to calculate the relic density of dark matter in any theory, and as the experiments to detect dark matter are finally coming on line, the relic density calculations are being reexamined. In addition, it has increasingly been recognized that string theories generically have non‐thermal histories, and perhaps most comprehensive theories have non‐thermal histories. A thermal history is simply one in which after the big bang the universe cools without addition of entropy from sources beyond Standard Model ones, and in which the particles that exist are Standard Model ones plus the dark matter particles (a calculable number of which annihilate as the universe cools). In non‐thermal cosmological histories additional matter is present (such as string theory moduli) that both decays into relic particles and adds entropy, and/or the evolution of the Hubble parameter is not described by the standard FRW equations. If our universe indeed has a non‐thermal cosmological history, it will be a major paradigm shift in our understanding of cosmology and particle physics, with implications in many areas including the LHC.
This workshop is timely now particularly because direct and indirect dark matter detection, and LHC data, and new ideas about cosmological histories, may greatly increase the phenomenological input to this field in the next year.
The workshop will allow plenty of time for discussions. Limited funds are available for support, particularly for local expenses. We encourage those who need support to request it when registering. There is no registration fee. People are encouraged to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements, except that those who will have local hotel expenses paid should ask the conference secretariat to make the reservations in order to avoid taxes. The workshop will probably run from Monday morning through Thursday at noon, depending on the number of participants.
*Breakfast will be served Monday morning at 8:30am in 337 West Hall
*The Welcoming Reception with hor d'oeuvres will be held Monday evening at 6pm in 337 West Hall