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LTT: Mike Schneider
October 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Mike Schneider, Center Visiting Fellow
Stabs in the Dark Sector
This talk will be held via Zoom and pre-registration is required. Registration link: https://pitt.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DbLCsyAGQH-V9sk0i_2RmQ
ABSTRACT: ?CDM, our current theory of the evolution of large scale structure (LSS) in cosmology, constitutes an extraordinary achievement of modern physics. Consequent to our trust in the theory, empirical claims about the evolution of LSS are commonly understood to constrain theorizing in the rest of physics. In the case of ‘dark sector’ research, these claims are taken to constrain the behaviors of dark energy and cold dark matter, in the course of developing future fundamental theory. But here, something strange is afoot. ?CDM was developed, in the first place, as an application of our current fundamental theories. Since our current fundamental theories are what we intend to replace in the course of achieving future fundamental theory, a challenge arises: how can the empirical claims that stem from ?CDM carry the requisite normative force to constrain our theorizing? As I argue, a standard presentation of dark sector research fails to defuse this challenge. An alternative presentation is needed, which I provide.