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Varenna School: New Horizons in Observational Cosmology Regi

Posted: January 27 2013
by Alessandro Melchiorri
Dear all,

registration is now open to the Varenna 2013 School "New Horizons
in modern cosmology". Deadline for registration is April 15th.

School webpage:

International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi",

"New Horizons for Observational Cosmology",

June 30th-July 6th, 2013, Varenna, Lake Como, Italy

Directors of the School:

Asantha Cooray (University of California, Irvine, USA)
Eiichiro Komatsu (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Munich, Germany)
Alessandro Melchiorri (University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy)

Current confirmed Lecturers will include:

Rachel Bean (Cornell University, USA)
Daniel Baumann (Cambridge University, UK)
Scott Dodelson (University of Chicago, USA)
Andrea Ferrara (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy)
Henk Hoekstra (Leiden University, Holland)
Will Percival (University of Portsmouth, UK)
Joseph Silk (IAP, Paris, France, and John Hopkins, USA)
Ben Wandelt (IAP, Paris, France)

Scientific secretary: Luca Lamagna (University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy)

A special session on the latest results from Planck and other key experiments from additional speakers will be announced in the next circular.


This school comes at a unique time in cosmology.
Our understanding of the universe has been revolutionized by observations of the cosmic microwave background (in particular Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), the large-scale structure of the universe (Two-degree-Field Galaxy Redshift Survey and Sloan Digital Sky Survey), and distant supernovae.
These studies have conclusively shown that we are living in a strange universe: 96% of the present-day energy density of the universe is dominated by the so-called dark matter and dark energy. However, we do not know what dark matter and dark energy actually are. The data also suggest that it is likely that the universe underwent a rapid accelerating expansion phase in the very early universe called the inflationary phase. However, we still do not know how inflation happened.
Now, we are about to have another revolution in cosmology because, during the next couple of years, we expect to see a further qualitative jump in our knowledge of the universe.
The Planck satellite collaboration, mostly funded by ESA, in particular, will publish the first cosmological results by early 2013. Planck will provide an essentially complete view of temperature anisotropy of the Cosmic Microwave Background. A host of ground-based experiments measuring polarization of the cosmic microwave background (e.g., ACTpol, SPTpol, Polarbear, BICEP) will report their results soon. The next-generation galaxy surveys (BOSS, DES, HSC, HETDEX) will begin to yield data. These new data will undoubtedly address fundamental questions about the universe:

- What is the nature of dark energy and dark matter?
- What powered the Big Bang?
- Did inflation occur? If it did, how did it occur?
- What is the mass of neutrinos?
- When and how were the first stars and galaxies formed?


The School is hosted by The Enrico Fermi International School of Physics, one of the most significant cultural activities of the Italian Physical Society, founded in 1953 by SIF President, Prof. Giovanni Polvani. The Enrico Fermi School has its istitutional seat in the Villa Monastero in Varenna, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and characteristic towns on the eastern shore of Lake Como. The mild climate and the picturesque surroundings provide a relaxing and peaceful stay. Villa Monastero, one of the most ancient and famous villas of the region with its impressive botanic garden, is a world renowned attraction.

Alessandro, Asantha and Eiichiro

Varenna School: New Horizons in Observational Cosmology Quic

Posted: April 10 2013
by Alessandro Melchiorri
Dear all,

just a quick reminder that the deadline for applications for the Varenna
School is April 15th !

We already got an impressive number of applications above the limit of 60 participants so we will not consider any application after the deadline !

All the best

Varenna School: New Horizons in Observational Cosmology Regi

Posted: July 03 2013
by Alessandro Melchiorri
slides of the lectures and talks can be found here: