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Fundamental physics from the large-scale structure of the Universe

Project description

Understanding the Universe with galaxy surveys

We can use the distribution of galaxies to test the laws which rule our Universe. Our understanding of the early Universe is based on the presence of a new field that caused the Universe to rapidly expand (inflation). We also observe an accelerated expansion of the current Universe dubbed dark energy. These unknow new forces that govern the early and late time Universe are amongst the biggest puzzles in contemporary physics. Modern cosmological datasets allow us to explore these fundamental forces and confront theoretical models with data. The EU-funded FutureLSS project supports research on the nature of the inflaton field, dark matter and dark energy with data from the DESI and Euclid experiments. It will develop new statistical estimators and state-of-art modeling techniques in an effort to obtain new insights on cosmology, with significant links to particle and high energy physics.

Objective

The last 30 years have been a golden era of cosmological discoveries, which revolutionized our understanding of the physical concepts, which govern our Universe. New discoveries indicate that the beginning of our Universe might have been dominated by the inflaton field, which decayed during the first second of the Universe’s existence, introducing tiny ripples in the matter distribution, which ultimately sourced later galaxy formation. The future of our Universe is dominated by dark energy, which causes the current Universe to accelerate in its expansion. Both inflation and dark energy are theoretical constructs, which help to explain current observational results, but their fundamental role in physics is not yet understood.
The distribution of galaxies in the Universe encodes an enormous amount of information, which holds the key to unravel new fundamental concepts of nature. The main goal of this proposal is to use galaxy surveys to uncover convincing evidence for the inflationary scenario and to reveal clues that will help to determine the nature of dark energy.
My team will make use of data from the DESI and Euclid experiments, a new generation of galaxy surveys, which will provide datasets more than an order of magnitude larger than what is available today, thus allowing a decisive step forward with an exciting discovery potential. Such measurements will face significant challenges in systematics control, non-linear modeling, and computational limitations. In this proposal, I will outline my plan to develop new statistical estimators, apply cutting-edge modeling techniques, and access new observables to constrain cosmological models. This project will produce results going beyond cosmology, impacting particle- as well as high energy physics. With DESI starting in late 2019 and Euclid in 2021 this work is timely and my experience in the clustering analysis with such datasets puts me in a unique position to lead the cosmological exploitation of these experiments.

Keywords

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Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Net EU contribution
€ 1 328 066,00
Address
Old college, south bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Region
Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)