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Cosmic Degeneracies: a new challenge for precision cosmology

by Dott. Marco Baldi (Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Bologna & INFN)

Jun 04, 2014 from 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM

Where Sala Riunioni al II piano dello IASF

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Structure formation represents one of the most promising observational targets to shed some light on the longstanding mysteries about the composition of about 95% of the energy density in the Universe. In fact, although the standard cosmological picture – the LCDM model – provides a simple framework to encompass most of the available data, the fundamental nature of its main pillars (the cosmological constant Lambda and the Cold Dark Matter particle) is still unknown and its theoretical foundations suffer from multiple “naturalness” problems. In such a context, a wide range of possible alternative theories for both the Dark Energy and the Dark Matter components of the Universe have been proposed. In many cases these various extended scenarios can be observationally tested and disentangled from the standard model only by combining multiple and complementary observations of how gravitationally bound structures form and evolve within the different cosmologies. A systematic and robust scrutiny of such wide landscape of non-standard cosmological models can be performed only by combining information from both linear and non-linear scales, thereby requiring the use of numerically demanding computer simulations. In this talk a will provide a brief overview of the main develpments and achievements of the last decade in the field of simulations of structure formation in non-standard cosmological models. Then I will discuss some key results obtained with some of the largest N-body runs to date for some popular cosmological scenario beyond LCDM. Finally, I will discuss how the issue of Cosmic Degeneracies (i.e. the combined effects of multiple and mutually independent extensions of the standard model) might significantly degrade the discriminating power of present and future cosmological surveys. Therefore, Cosmic Degeneracies represents a new challenge on our path towards percent precision measurements in cosmology.

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