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Using Galaxy Surveys to Understand the Dark Universe

Final Report Summary - DARKSURVEY (Using Galaxy Surveys to Understand the Dark Universe)

Surveys of the positions of galaxies in the Universe are a key resource for observational cosmology, with the potential to provide the answers to many fundamental questions in modern physics. The Darksurvey project has developed tools and applied them to analyse data from a number of surveys, including the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. It has also helped to develop tools to analyse the ongoing extended-BOSS (eBOSS), and future projects including DESI, designed to measure the rate at which the local Universe is expanding. The overarching aim is to help explain one of the key unknowns in modern physics - the observed acceleration of the low redshift Universe, commonly attributed to unknown physics termed Dark Energy. Complimentary measurements of the growth of structure within the Universe will test Einstein’s theory of Gravity on the largest scales possible. The large-scale clustering of galaxies will also be used to constrain models of the very early Universe and measure fundamental physical properties, using the Universe as a laboratory for extreme physics. The Darksurvey team has undertaken a range of science in the field of observational cosmology, with a focus on the analysis of galaxy surveys. We have made a number of cosmological measurements using data from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, and its extension. Measurements that have helped to underpin the standard cosmological model. We have also looked ahead to future surveys, making developments in the statistical analysis tools applied to galaxy surveys. These have paved the way for future surveys including the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the ESA Euclid satellite mission. Finally, as well as the scientific achievements, the grant has helped to train a number of early career researchers - all of which have taken the skills learnt and gone on to apply them in either further positions in the field of to research positions outside of academia.