Abstract: Inflationary cosmology is the most successful explanation of the large scale features of our universe, such as the uniform tempertaure distribution of the Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) and the near flat global geometry of the universe. Satellite based measurements of the CMB in the past 2 decades by COBE, WMAP, and Planck have shown the predictions of inflation to be consistent with data. The most recent of these, the Planck Satellite, has provided the most precise measurement of the CMB ever and offers the best possibility to learn details about the dynamics during the early universe. I will first explain what sort of information can be obtained from measuring the CMB for understanding large scale structure and then review the results of measurement of the CMB made by these satellite experiments. Included in this discussion will be a summary on polarization and non-gaussianity measurements. I will then discuss the two dynamical descriptions of inflation, warm and cold, and present various models in both cases and their predictions for the CMB. I will then discuss how well CMB data has been able to discriminate between the different inflation models.
This seminar is supported by Portuguese Funds through the CIDMA - Centre for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology ("FCT" - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), within the project UID/MAT/04106/2013.