Campus, PAB 232
Inflation is the idea that the universe underwent a period of accelerating expansion. It is remarkable conjecture that the primordial fluctuations seen in the cosmic microwave background were generated in the first 10^-34 seconds of the universe and expanded from the microscopic to macroscopic, superhorizon scales. We will introduce basic concepts of inflation starting from the FRLW line element, touch on the relationship between quantum fluctuations and seeds of large-scale structure, and finally cover observational signatures of inflation and the status of upcoming experiments in probing those inflationary signatures. No prior coursework in general relativity is assumed.