Theoretical cosmology interim support for Liddle at Edinburgh

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

This grant transfers the residual FEC support for Liddle from Sussex to Edinburgh. The relevant part of the summary of the funded Sussex grant was:

Our proposal seeks funds to continue an extensive programme of research into extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology, seeking to address some of the most pressing astronomical questions of our time, such as "What are the fundamental constituents of the Universe?", "What is the nature of the dark energy believed to be driving an acceleration of the Universe?", "What processes govern the formation of the largest objects and structures in our Universe?", and "How do galaxies form and evolve?". We address these questions by a combination of theoretical work, much of it using high-performance computers, and observational surveys especially from satellite observatories. We aim to be particularly sophisticated in the statistical modelling we carry out to use the observations to learn about our models.

Theme 1: Cosmology We will advance knowledge of the fundamental constituents and processes governing our Universe. This includes the early period of cosmological inflation, believed to be responsible for the origin of structures in the Universe, explored through studies of the origin of cosmic non-gaussianity and through detailed comparisons to emerging data. We will further develop the phenomenology of models featuring cosmic defects such as cosmic strings, and explore the consequent cosmic non-gaussianity both in the microwave background and in the matter distribution. We will complete the preparation and definition stage of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and move to exploitation of DES data to constrain dark energy phenomenology. This component of the project exploits STFC involvement in the Planck Surveyor Satellite, the Dark Energy Survey, and the COSMOS supercomputer.

Planned Impact

The principal opportunities for impact of this work remain

a) Outreach, particularly to schoolstudents and aided by Edinburgh's extensive outreach programme.
b) Knowledge exchange concerning deployment of Bayesian methodologies such as model selection and machine learning.

Publications

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Byrnes C (2016) Curvaton scenarios with inflaton decays into curvatons in Physical Review D

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Byrnes C (2014) Comprehensive analysis of the simplest curvaton model in Physical Review D

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Cortês M (2015) Tensors, BICEP2 results, prior dependence, and dust in Physical Review D

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Dias M (2013) Erratum: multifield consequences for D-brane inflation in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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Edwards D (2014) The observational position of simple non-minimally coupled inflationary scenarios in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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Kobayashi T (2015) A separate universe view of the asymmetric sky in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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Li S (2014) Observational constraints on Tachyon and DBI inflation in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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Liddle A (2013) Cosmic Microwave Background Anomalies in an Open Universe in Physical Review Letters

 
Description Developed understanding of fundamental cosmological models, particularly on the nature of the material composition of the Universe.
Exploitation Route The work is part of the ongoing global effort to understand cosmological models
Sectors Education

 
Description Astronomy responsive grants
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/L000644/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description Astronomy responsive grants
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/L000644/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2017
 
Description Presentation at Edinburgh Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lively Q&A session followed the presentations (by myself and Catherine Heymans)

Considerable interest from the audience, and related talk now set up to be given at Cineworld Edinburgh as part of a `science in films' educational initiative.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Public talk at Cosmo conference, with Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sell-out audience of 500 attended 3 public talks including mine. Archived in perpetuity on the WWW.

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013