Mapping the Dark Side with Euclid and beyond
PT-CERN Call 2021/2
Universidade do Porto
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto
The observational evidence for the acceleration of the universe demonstrates that canonical theories of cosmology and particle physics are incomplete. New physics is waiting to be discovered, and forthcoming astrophysical facilities must identify it. The source of acceleration has a low-redshift behaviour akin to a cosmological constant, but current data provides limited information on its high-redshift behaviour and possible interactions. Tackling the dark energy enigma requires extending the redshift range where its behaviour can be mapped. New facilities, such as Euclid, the ELT, and the SKA will enable this, increasing the range and sensitivity of current probes and allowing entirely new tests. This thesis will provide a state-of-the-art exploration of the landscape of physically realistic (as well as observationally viable) dark energy paradigms, with the aim of obtaining optimal discriminating observational tests, in particular between the baseline cosmological constant scenario and dynamical dark energy models. Our ultimate goal is to distinguish between theoretical paradigms, using optimized observational strategies for key medium-term observational facilities in whose preparation, performance optimization and, ultimately, exploitation we will be actively involved. The thesis will focus on Euclid (which the student will join) and broaden to explore synergies and probe combinations with the SKAO and ELT-HIRES.