The standard model of cosmology (the so-called LambdaCDM model) is spectacularly successful. It is able to reproduce a large range of cosmological observations with just six free parameters. However, the model offers no physical "explanation" for several of these parameters. In particular, the physical nature of both dark matter and dark energy remains unclear even decades after their discoveries. Furthermore, the model may be beginning to crack, with different ways of measuring the Hubble constant returning irreconcilable results.
So far, no physical experiment or astronomical observation has been able to detect any effect of dark matter of dark energy on scales smaller than that of a galaxy. The effect of dark energy, in particular, is so far only evident on cosmological scales. It is therefore not surprising that large-scale surveys of the Universe are an important part of the observational toolkit used to study these phenomena.
Just like every other physics experiment, our ability to conduct such surveys is tightly coupled to the developments in a number of technological fields. As a result, the landscape of survey facilities is evolving rapidly. In this mini-series of lectures I will provide an overview of a selection of the latest generation of survey experiments, and a preview of what progress we expect from these.
PhD students in QURS who want to acquire credits for attending these lectures are requested to register for the course via Geventis until 5 November: https://www.geventis.uni-hamburg.de/course?course=-4289412317204090300