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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Fundamental cosmology in the E-ELT era: the status and future role of tests of fundamental coupling stability

C. J. A. P. Martins

The observational evidence for the recent acceleration of the universe demonstrates that canonical theories of cosmology and particle physics are incomplete—if not incorrect—and that new physics is out there, waiting to be discovered. The most fundamental task for the next generation of astrophysical facilities is therefore to search for, identify and ultimately characterise this new physics. Here we highlight recent efforts along these lines, mostly focusing on ongoing work by CAUP’s Dark Side Team aiming to develop some of the science case and optimise observational strategies for forthcoming facilities. The discussion is centred on tests of the stability of fundamental couplings (since the provide a direct handle on new physics), but synergies with other probes are also briefly considered. The goal is to show how a new generation of precision consistency tests of the standard paradigm will soon become possible.

Observational cosmology - Fundamental physics - Fundamental couplings - Dark energy - Astronomical facilities

General Relativity and Gravitation
Volume 47, Page 1843_1
January 2015

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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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