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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Unveiling the Dynamics of the Universe

P. P. Avelino, T. Barreiro, C. S. Carvalho, A. C. da Silva, F. S. N. Lobo, P. Martín-Moruno, J. P. Mimoso, N. J. Nunes, D. Rubiera-Garcia, D. Sáez Gómez, L. Sousa, I. Tereno, A. M. M. Trindade

Abstract
We explore the dynamics and evolution of the Universe at early and late times, focusing on both dark energy and extended gravity models and their astrophysical and cosmological consequences. Modified theories of gravity not only provide an alternative explanation for the recent expansion history of the universe, but they also offer a paradigm fundamentally distinct from the simplest dark energy models of cosmic acceleration. In this review, we perform a detailed theoretical and phenomenological analysis of different modified gravity models and investigate their consistency. We also consider the cosmological implications of well motivated physical models of the early universe with a particular emphasis on inflation and topological defects. Astrophysical and cosmological tests over a wide range of scales, from the solar system to the observable horizon, severely restrict the allowed models of the Universe. Here, we review several observational probes -- including gravitational lensing, galaxy clusters, cosmic microwave background temperature and polarization, supernova and baryon acoustic oscillations measurements -- and their relevance in constraining our cosmological description of the Universe.

Keywords
Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology

Universe
July 2016

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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.

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