Katerina Visnjic is seeking to answer the question "How was our universe created?" by studying the oldest light in the universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation. Studying this light may give us insights into the first tiny fraction of a second (10-30 seconds) after the big bang. In order to detect the CMB, Katerina and her colleagues built the Atacama B-Mode Search (ABS), a telescope which observes from the high-altitude site (5000m) in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Katerina received her Ph.D. on this work from Princeton University, and is currently on the teaching faculty in the same department.
The talk is entitled "What does the Cosmic Microwave Background Tell Us About the Origins of Our Universe?" In the first part of her talk, she will explain what the CMB is, how it was created, and what information it holds about the early universe. She will also discuss gravitational waves, and how they may be the key to unlocking even earlier moments of the universe.
In the second part of her talk, she will describe the efforts of her team with the Atacama B-Mode Search experiment.