Our research will focus on the most topical issues of physics and astronomy. We will develop pipelines to analyze data and answer the most pressing questions of contemporary cosmology, high energy physics and astrophysics. We will work on 3 major topics.
- Dark matter, galaxies and their clusters: Within the framework of the LambdaCDM model, our universe may contain a sizable amount of dark matter. Dark matter candidates can arise in simple extensions of the standard model (like massive neutrinos) or beyond standard models (BSM) involving new particles from SUSY or GUT. However, one not only needs to understand their nature but their distribution in the universe as well, especially in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. We will investigate different dark matter candidates and their observability using modern radio and x-ray telescopes. Aside from dark matter detection, many astrophysical theories can be tested using these observations of clusters of galaxies.
- Cosmological modeling and observation: Einstein’s General Relativity (GR) is the most successful theoretical basis of modern cosmology till date. The goal of modern cosmologists is to construct various cosmological models and constrain their parameters both within and beyond GR. While GR is successful in explaining many cosmological questions, its applicability during the epochs of the early universe remains dubious where quantum and thermal effects also play significant roles. Going beyond Einstein requires two major modifications: i) include quantum effects, ii) include higher derivative terms. Both these modifications can lead to interesting implications on the cosmological observations. Our main objective within this topic is to predict observable implications of various cosmological and astrophysical models and test them using the observed data.
- String theory and its cosmological applications: String Theory is one of the leading candidates to reconcile gravitation and quantum field theory, and thereby a quantum theory of gravity. While Einstein’s idea of space-time led to a 4-dimensional view of the universe, consistent String Theory requires a 10-dimensional space-time. This prompts the question about the existence of the rest 6 dimensions on top of the usual 4-dimensions. String Theory answers this question by invoking a mechanism of compactification, where the extra 6-dimensions are compactified, and too small to probe by the experiments at hand. Though direct detection of these compactified dimensions in LHC has so far been unsuccessful, Early Universe cosmology provides a fertile ground where the presence of these extra dimensions can have a detectable fingerprint.