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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Testes da física fundamental com o Planck

Cooperação Portugal/França Programa Pessoa 2012/2013 (FCT Proc.º 441.00 França)

Principal investigator
Carlos J. A. P. Martins

Cosmology and particle physics are in an exciting period. Both have remarkably successful standard models, which agree with a plethora of experimental and observational data. But there are also strong hints that neither model is complete, and that new physics may be within the reach of the next generation of probes. The evidence for the universe's acceleration demonstrates that our well established theories of particles and gravity are incomplete, if not incorrect. Although this enigma emerged within cosmology and from astrophysical observations, it has major most important contribution to physics in our generation.

These hints are so far smoke without a smoking gun, and we will search for the gun. Specifically, we will use the forthcoming Plank data to carry out precision astrophysical and cosmological tests of the standard 'concordance' model. We have two key goals:

1.- Obtaining new state-of-the-art measurements of the fine-structure constant, the proton-to-electron mass ratio and Newton's constant, by exploiting opportunities provided by ESA's Planck and other improving datasets. In particular we will for the first time carry out a systematic study of joint constraints on several couplings, thus exploring the entire range of allowed particle physics (unification) models.

2.- Studying the role of galaxy clusters and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effects as probes of fundamental physics, in particular by optimizing methods to test the temperature-redshift relation, which will provide essential consistency tests for any claims of evidence for new physics. Proof of concept analysis for these methods exist, but they are not yet precise enough to be very constraining. The emergence of the Planck cluster sample will for the first time make these tests competitive.

Portuguese Node: CAUP
Co-PI: Carlos Martins

French Node: Laboratoire de l'Accelerateur Lineaire (LAL)
Co-PI:Olivier Perdereau

Funding institution
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

Start: 1 January 2012
End: 31 December 2013

Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

Proceed on CAUP's website|Go to IA website