“Inflation Ends, What’s Next? A Story of How the Hot Big Bang Began” with Mustafa Amin (Rice University, USA)

Inflation, a period of accelerated expansion in the early universe, was likely responsible for setting up initial conditions for the formation of galaxies, and ultimately us. However, inflation also leaves the universe cold and empty. How did inflation end, and how did the universe get populated with particles resulting in the hot big bang? The period between the end of inflation and the era where light nuclei first formed presents an significant gap in our cosmic history. In this talk, the speaker discusses the exciting events taking place during this period, and how we can potentially improve upon our knowledge of this era in the coming years.

Mustafa Amin is an Associate professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University in Houston, Texas (USA). Before joining Rice in 2015, Mustafa Amin held a Senior Kavli Fellowship at the University of Cambridge and a Pappalardo Fellowship at MIT. He obtained his PhD from Stanford University, and undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. The questions that drive Amin’s current research include: How did inflation end and the hot big bang begin? What is the mass and intrinsic spin of dark matter particles? His expertise lies in nonlinear dynamics of cosmological fields, with his most impactful works being on the formation and implications of solitons at the end of inflation, and in contemporary dark matter. He has around 50, peer-reviewed, published articles and his work is currently supported by NASA and US Dept. of Energy.

Webinar was recorded on September 29, 2022