Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To be updated very soon…

Lately I’ve been quite interested in the process of reionization of the Universe and the use of next generation radio interferometers (21cm experiments) to probe this epoch as well as constrain our current view of cosmology. I’ve also worked on the statistical analysis of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) data as a way to place sharp constraints on cosmological models. This means not only the power spectrum, specially secondary anisotropies (kinetic and thermal Sunyaev Zel’dovich, weak lensing), but also higher order correlations (e.g. non-Gaussianity). This non-Gaussianity is an important way to probe several astrophysical processes and even the physics of the Early Universe. I’m also interested on investigating alternative theories to Inflation, or to be more precise, alternatives to “standard” Inflation. One interesting aspect of this is that maybe the spectrum of perturbations can have strong departures from scale invariance which could create interesting features on the CMB power spectrum. For more detailed information on some of the stuff I’m working on, please check the sub-menu on the right.

If the above problems seem too far from reality to the non-physicist, just think about the following: The matter we see all around us (the baryons) only make about 5% of the total matter in the Universe. The other 95% correspond to something that we don’t really know what it is: dark matter (25%) and dark energy (70%). We are truly in the dark ages of cosmology! Fortunately there are some amazing experiments that will shed some light over these unsettling questions. Here are a few of the ones I’m interested on:

* SKA (Square Kilometre Array)
* LOFAR (Low Frequency Array)
* WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe)
* Planck (the next generation full sky temperature and polarization CMB experiment)
* CMBPol (a polarization experiment)
* SPT (South Pole Telescope - SZ measurements)
* SNAP (Supernova / Acceleration Probe)
* LSST (The Large-aperture Synoptic Survey Telescope)

Publications: arXiv or SPIRES HEP search.

You can also download my PhD thesis (gzipped) - “Observational Constraints on the Physics of the Early Universe.”

  • Posted by msantos at 15:47:10 in Research