Title: In the beginning ... : Big Bang and Bianchi IX

Date: 02/15/2019

Time: 4:10 PM - 5:00 PM

Place: C304 Wells Hall

Big Bang Theory is now an established part of cosmology. A common mental picture of the big bang singularity is that of the Friedman model, where, looking backwards in time, the universe collapses uniformly to one point leaving the shape unchanged. In 1970, however, the Russian physicists Belinskii, Khalatnikov, and Lifshitz showed that the Friedman-inspired picture is far from common. In fact they proposed an alternative picture where near the beginning of time, the generic universe rapidly and chaotically oscillates between different "shapes" as it shrinks down to a single point. I aim to explain some of the things we now know about this BKL conjecture, including an interesting connection to the continued fraction expansion of real numbers and the golden ratio.