Cosmology & Gravitation

This series consists of talks in the areas of Cosmology, Gravitation and Particle Physics.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.
 

 

Tuesday Nov 24, 2020
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In the first part of the talk I will review some recent progress in large-scale structure theory and show how it can be used to measure cosmological parameters from current and future redshift surveys. Then I will discuss some ongoing challenges in the modeling of galaxy clsutering data and covariance matrices. Finally, I will present a systematic calculation of the probability distribution function for the dark matter density field and discuss its potential as a cosmological probe.

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Tuesday Nov 17, 2020

Gravitational waves (GWs) have already proved immensely powerful for constraining cosmological extensions of GR, both from data-driven and theoretical perspectives. However, GWs really come into their own when used in combination with complementary electromagnetic data. I’ll start by reviewing some of the bounds on extended gravity theories from GW detections to date. I'll introduce the formalism, the phenomenology, and the astrophysical pitfalls of these tests.

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Tuesday Nov 10, 2020
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In order to infer cosmological parameters from galaxy survey data, we typically use summary statistics such as the power spectrum and we need an accurate estimate of their covariance matrix. The traditional process of obtaining the covariance involves simulating thousands of mocks. I will present an analytic approach for the covariance matrix which is more than four orders of magnitude faster than mocks and show its validation with an analysis of the BOSS DR12 data. Furthermore, our analytic approach is free of sampling noise which makes it useful for upcoming surveys like DESI and Euclid.

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Tuesday Nov 03, 2020
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The standard model of cosmology is built upon on a series of propositions on how the early, intermediate, and late epochs of the Universe behave. In particular, it predicts that dark energy and dark matter currently pervades the cosmos. Understanding the properties of the dark sector is plausibly the biggest challenge in theoretical physics. There is, however, a broad assumption in cosmology that the Universe on its earlier stages is fully understood and that discrepancies between the standard model of cosmology and current data are suggestive of distinct dark energy properties.

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Tuesday Oct 27, 2020
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The new gravitational-wave signal GW190521in LIGO and Virgo marks the first observational detection of the elusive intermediate-mass black holes. The detection also confirms there exist a new class of black holes in the mass gap predicted by the pair-instability supernovae theory. In this talk, I will discuss the process that went behind inferring the astrophysical properties of this historic discovery. I would briefly address the alternative scenarios we looked into for a possible exotic origin of this signal, including any violation of General Relativity.

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Tuesday Oct 20, 2020
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The outskirts of accreting dark matter haloes exhibit a sudden drop in density delimiting the virialized region. After briefly describing the physics shaping this feature and how it is measured, I will discuss its applications. I will examine its connection to structure formation and how it can constrain the screening mechanisms of beyond-GR models of gravity.

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Tuesday Oct 13, 2020
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Studying the smallest self-bound dark matter structure in our Universe can yield important clues about the fundamental particle nature of dark matter, and galaxy-scale strong gravitational lensing provides a unique way to detect and characterize dark matter on small scales at cosmological distances from the Milky Way. Research in this field can be broadly separated into works that aim to directly detect individual perturbers and works that aim to statistically constrain the matter distribution by looking at collective perturbations caused by an unresolved population of perturbers.

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Tuesday Oct 06, 2020
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Mapping of galaxy density fluctuations on large scales is one of the most important goals of observational cosmology in this decade. These observations can significantly improve our knowledge of the universe, its origins and composition. In this talk I will review some of the science goals of the ongoing and future spectroscopic galaxy surveys and explain how these goals can be met. In particular, I will focus on some recent progress in theoretical modelling of the nonlinear structure formation and show how it can be used to extract cosmology from observations of the cosmic web.

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Tuesday Sep 29, 2020
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Current and forthcoming observing runs at ground-based laser interferometry detectors are starting to uncover gravitational waves from binary black hole (BBH) mergers at cosmological distances, and a fraction of them are expected to be gravitationally lensed by intervening galaxy or cluster lenses with multiple images. Such strongly lensed events, if discovered, may offer a precious opportunity to localize BBH host galaxies and probe global and small-scale property of the lens mass profile.

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Tuesday Sep 22, 2020
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Understanding galaxy formation is an outstanding problem in Astrophysics. The feedback processes that drive it, exploding stars and accretion onto supermassive black holes, are poorly understood. This results in an order unity uncertainty in the distribution of the gas inside halos, the ``missing baryon problem''. Because baryons are 15% of the total mass in the universe, this baryonic uncertainty is the largest theoretical systematics for percent precision weak lensing surveys like DES, HSC, Rubin Observatory, Roman Observatory and Euclid.

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