The outstanding success of three generations of space missions dedicated to the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background has delivered invaluable insight into the origins of the universe and the physics of its earliest moments. It has founded a global cosmological model described by the expansion rate, various forms of matter and energy, spatial curvature, and primordial perturbations generated during a period of inflationary expansion. The model's free parameters are now measured to percent-level precision. This remarkable success sharpens attention on a number of fundamental questions. What are the natures of dark matter and dark energy, accounting for 96% of the energy density of the Universe? Whether a phase of cosmic inflation actually seeded the initial perturbations awaits full demonstration, and the mechanisms that initiated inflation are not well understood or constrained. Future observations of the CMB will validate or challenge this standard cosmological model, answer these open questions and provide further constraints on the fundamental properties of matter and interactions at energy scales up to twelve orders of magnitude higher than those attainable at the LHC. To exploit this exceptional potential, instruments must be designed with unprecedented performance. We invite the scientific community to discuss the important issues of such a program during a four-day workshop at CERN. The first two days (May 17-18) of the workshop will be dedicated to the discussion of the science case, of the design of a future European or international CMB polarization space mission, and to the discussion of the synergy and complementarity with ground-based observations and with other cosmological probes. The second part of the meeting (May 19-20) will specifically target the preparation of the European proposal in response to the upcoming ESA call. Attendance is encouraged for anyone interested. Talks during the first two days are by invitation only, short talk contributions to splinter meetings in the last two days can be submitted to conveners of the sessions. The workshop is hosted and supported by CERN (Knowledge Transfer Group and Theory Department) and the University of Geneva (Theoretical Physics Department).
Registration for this event is currently open.