"Recent measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) combined with the large-scale distribution of galaxies have defined a standard cosmological model. This model is a remarkable fit to the observations but also raises profound questions - we do not know how the initial conditions were imprinted in the early Universe, nor do we know the nature of the dark energy. In this proposal, I request funds to set up a new cosmology data analysis team at the University of Manchester to tackle these issues. Over the next five years, my team will pursue a program of work intended to have a large impact on two hugely important fields of observational cosmology which are uniquely suited to answering these questions --- the polarisation of the microwave background and weak gravitational lensing. The former is the most powerful way to probe the early Universe while the latter is potentially the most sensitive probe of dark energy. Building on the innovative methods I developed for the QUaD experiment, I will apply new analysis techniques to mitigate systematics and maximise the science return from current and future CMB polarisation experiments including the Planck satellite, the ground-based QUIJOTE experiment and phase 2 of the ground-based QUIET experiment. In the field of weak lensing, I will perform pioneering radio lensing analyses with forthcoming instruments including the Square Kilometre Array pathfinders, e-MERLIN and MeerKAT. One particularly novel idea which I will develop is the use of polarisation information to reduce noise and to minimise contamination from the intrinsic alignment of galaxies in radio lensing analyses. The research described in this proposal will allow my team to establish an international leadership position in both CMB polarisation and radio weak lensing research in advance of a possible CMB polarisation satellite mission and the commissioning of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope towards the latter part of this decade."
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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