Robert Caldwell (Dartmouth)
Title: "Cosmology with Flavor-Space Locked Gauge Fields"
Abstract: We present new models of cosmic acceleration built from flavor-space locked gauge fields. The behavior of gravitational waves in these scenarios is unusual. We show that such fields are gravitationally birefringent, and absorb and re-emit gravitational waves through the phenomenon of gravitational wave -- gauge field oscillations. As a result, the gauge field leaves a unique imprint on both long-wavelength gravitational waves of primordial origin as well as high frequency waves produced by astrophysical sources. We show that these effects may be detected in the future using the cosmic microwave background and gravitational wave observatories.