Princeton University's Lyman Page, chair of the Department of Physics, was selected to present the Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Austin last week. Page spoke about recent work on determining the mass of neutrinos using the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the thermal afterglow of the big bang. Neutrinos are relativistic particles that affect the temperature and polarization power spectra of the CMB. Assuming that neutrinos are the dominant massive relativistic particles in the early universe, researchers should be able to use CMB measurements to determine the sum of their masses. Not only will this help physicists refine the standard model of the universe, it will be an important constraint for the study of elementary particles.
Page is the Henry De Wolf Smyth Professor of Physics. The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity through Kavli research institutes, fellowships and programs at leading research institutions. The Kavli Foundation Plenary Lectureship recognizes a recent research topic of great importance.