Physical Cosmology

The observation of dark energy demonstrates that our well established theories of particles and gravity are incomplete, if not incorrect. For this reason, even if this problem emerged within cosmology and from astrophysical observations, it will have repercussions in fundamental physics. Future, large galaxy surveys (such as BOSS, EUCLID and LSST) will cover O(10000) squared degrees on the sky. Their primary science goal is to unravel the nature of the physics responsible for the current accelerated expansion of the universe.

This acceleration likely involves new physics which could imply either a modification of our understanding of particles and fields (if the acceleration is caused by a new ingredient, the so-called "dark energy") or a change of our understanding of space and time (by modifying Einstein's General Relativity laws). The unprecedented and exquisite data provided by these surveys will make possible also other interesting science with physics (e.g. inflation, neutrino properties) and astrophysical (e.g., galaxy formation and evolution) implications. Our team, which benefits from the interaction of Cosmology, Astrophysics and Particle Physics, aims to:

  1. Identify and model the observables which will allow us to distinguish Dark Energy from Modified Gravity, paying special attention to the perturbation evolution.
  2. Study in detail the observational effects predicted by the different theoretical explanations for the current acceleration: quintessence, coupled dark energy and modified gravity, among others.
  3. Weigh neutrinos with cosmology.
  4. To maximize the physics extracted from large-scale structure and CMB data and their implications for particle physics.
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