Cosmology: from Galaxy Surveys to Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The recent cosmological measurements support a `concordance' model in which the universe is flat and contains only 4 % ordinary matter, 21 % cold dark matter and 75 % dark energy. The next decade will see increased efforts to constrain the nature of dark energy and dark matter. One of the most promising cosmological probes is the use of galaxy redshift and imaging surveys. UCL Astrophysics is one of leading institutions in the effort to measure dark energy with such surveys. We have leading roles in the proposed Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Dark Universe Explorer (DUNE) and a Wide Field Multi-Object Spectrograph (WFMOS), all designed to contrast dark energy models with data. The proposal submitted is built around these surveys and three probes to constrain dark energy models, namely: cluster counts, galaxy clustering including baryon accoustic oscillations and cosmic lensing. In addition UCL Astrophysics will have access to a High Performance Computing system. In order to obtain precision constraints on dark energy, hundreds of millions of galaxies will be observed and their distance estimated. This requires fast methods based on galaxy colours ('photometric redshifts'). We propose to employ one PDRA and one PhD student who will explore the prospect of galaxy clustering measurements with these colour-based methods, and their systematic impacts. The second PDRA and a PhD student will concentrate on the study of cosmic lensing and involved systematics. The third PDRA will investigate how clusters (detected by the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect) can be calibrated with optical surveys and how to exploit them for cosmological measurements. Finally the fourth PDRA and a PhD student will work on N-body and hydro-simulations, studying the structure formation properties of dark energy, simulating clusters of galaxies and producing realistic mock catalogs for forecasting and exploiting weak lensing and galaxy clustering surveys. The Cosmology team at UCL is well placed for this project. The applicants are experienced in the fields of analysing large galaxy surveys, designing surveys for weak lensing observations and forecasting galaxy cluster surveys. The Cosmology team at UCL currently consists of 3 staff members, 5 PDRAs and 7 PhD students. Since the PDRA grants finish shortly, as outlined in the proposal, and 3 of the current students are funded by start-up grants, the proposed program would allow the continuation of these efforts. This is essential so that we can fulfill our commitments towards the proposed surveys and maintain our leadership in the science areas mentioned above within the UK and the international collaborations.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Abate Alexandra (2009) Shear-selected Clusters from the Deep Lens Survey. III. Masses from Weak Lensing in The Astrophysical Journal

publication icon
Abbott T. (2012) First SN Discoveries from the Dark Energy Survey in The Astronomer's Telegram

publication icon
Agarwal Shankar (2014) PkANN - II. A non-linear matter power spectrum interpolator developed using artificial neural networks in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

publication icon
Agnello A. (2015) Discovery of two gravitationally lensed quasars in the Dark Energy Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

publication icon
Antonik Michelle L. (2013) The impact of camera optical alignments on weak lensing measures for the Dark Energy Survey in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

publication icon
Balan Sreekumar Thaithara (2012) ExoFit: Orbital parameters of extra-solar planets from radial velocity in Astrophysics Source Code Library

 
Title Hosting artists in residence 
Description We have hosted artists in residence who were inspired by Dark Energy studies 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact - Artist Katie Paterson (on Leverhulme grant; PI: Lahav) presented her work in museums around the world - Artist Marie Kaus produced art work on dark energy, on display at UCL Observatory at Mill Hill 
 
Description This grant is finished but this section can be updated at a later date if details required.

The grant has produced over 80 refereed papers since its start in 2008. We listed all relevant publication until the present (2017), as some of the work that started then
has led to publications once the data came in.
This grant laid the foundations for preparations for the Dark Energy Survey, where we have played leadership roles (Ofer Lahav as co-chair of the Science Committee and chair of DES:UK,
Sarah Bridle as co-coordinator of the Weak Lensing working group and JochenWeller as co-coordinator of the Theory and Combined Probes working group).
Later Filipe Abdalla and Hiranya Peiris, appointed as lecturers in 2009, joined them in this effort and they have made important contributions to DES and other surveys.
The Dark Energy Survey has completed a significant fraction of its survey and has produced over 90 papers (as of early early 2017), 7 of them led by our group.
In addition, the grant provided support for theoretical studies in cosmology and other probes such as the CMB.
Exploitation Route ArXiv (Green open access) and refereed journals

This grant led to the follow up STFC grant 'Cosmology from Surveys' (2011-2011), and further Consolidated Grants (2012-2015; 2015-2019)

This grant led to 3 ERC grants: Bridle (Starting Grant) Lahav (Advanced Grant), Peiris (Starting Grant)
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education

URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/star
 
Description This grant is finished but this section can be updated at a later date if details required. - Media interviews and press releases - Artist Katie Paterson (on Leverhulme grant; PI: Lahav) presented her work in museums around the world , and artist Marie Kaus produced art work on dark energy, on display at UCL Observatory at Mill Hill
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Advance ERC grant
Amount € 2,400,000 (EUR)
Funding ID FP7/291329 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 05/2012 
End 04/2018
 
Title Optics and statistical methods 
Description - designing optical corrector for wide field multi object spectroscopy - developing statistics of cross correlations of imaging and spectroscopic surveys (Kirk et al.) - developing methods for selecting candidates of emission lines galaxies from imaging surveys 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact See above 
 
Description press release and interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact a press release on DESI (which succeeded DESpec)
Interviewed in at article on DESI in Physics Today (Oct 2016)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014