ERC CosmicDawn Project Passes Midterm Milestone

On 11 August, 2015, in Science, by admin

The European Research Council project CosmicDawn has passed its mid-term milestone, and the mid-term report has just been approved by the ERC! Led by Hiranya Peiris, the CosmicDawn team funded by the ERC during this reporting period consisted of postdoctoral research fellows Jonathan Braden, Franz Elsner, Boris Leistedt, and Nina Roth, as well as undergraduate intern Max Kerr Winter.

The CosmicDawn team is using the Planck and Dark Energy Survey (DES) data to rigorously test the theory of inflation, the dominant paradigm for the origin of cosmic structure, and to seek signatures of new physics that are likely to exist at these unexplored energies. Our aim is to go beyond simply testing generic predictions of the inflationary paradigm, to gain a fundamental understanding of the physics responsible for the origin of cosmic structure. In working towards this goal, the team has focused on: (1) theoretical modelling at the cutting edge of fundamental physics (describing not just the inflationary period but also pre- and post-inflationary physics); (2) development of powerful wavelet and filtering techniques to extract these physical signatures; (3) introduction of CMB techniques new to LSS analyses to facilitate major sensitivity gains; (4) use of advanced Bayesian statistical methods to extract reliable information from the data; and (5) a deep understanding of data limitations and control of systematics. Over the reporting period, our research has led to 74 publications, including interdisciplinary papers with high energy theorists and numerical relativists, and cross-disciplinary papers in information engineering and high performance computing.


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