Cosmological Tests of Fundamental Physics

Award Month: 
May - June, 2009

he project explores the following two aspects of the interplay between theory and cosmological observations. 1. Search for Statistical Non-Gaussianity in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Temperature Maps. Part of the motivation for this project is to try to detect line discontinuities in the CMB maps, which would be left by cosmic strings. Any detection of primordial non-Gaussianity on cosmological scales would be a major breakthrough in physics and would help researchers understand the initial state of our universe. 2. Structure Formation in Modified Gravity Models. The motivation for this project is one of the most urgent unsolved problems in Science today: a need to understand the root cause of the ongoing acceleration of our universe. Cosmology provides the opportunity to test predictions of different models of cosmic acceleration with measurements of CMB, weak lensing, supernovae, clustering of matter and various derivatives from these.

About Project Leader: Dr. Levon Pogosian

Dr. Levon Pogosian is Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Pogosian describes himself as a "physicist working in theoretical cosmology". He works in particle cosmology with interests in the composition and evolution of the Universe, dark energy and modified gravity, observational probes of physics beyond Standard Model, topological defect solutions in quantum field theory and their implications for particle physics and cosmology, cosmic (super)strings and other characteristics of Brane Inflation, cosmological magnetic fields, cosmic microwave background (CMB), and tests of cosmological Gaussianity.