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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Fundamental cosmology from precision spectroscopy: Varying couplings

A. C. O. Leite, C. J. A. P. Martins, P. O. J. Pedrosa, N. J. Nunes

The observational evidence for the 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. Forthcoming high-resolution ultrastable spectrographs will play a crucial role in this quest for new physics, by enabling a new generation of precision consistency tests. Here we focus on astrophysical tests of the stability of nature’s fundamental couplings, and by using principal component analysis techniques further calibrated by existing VLT data we discuss how the improvements that can be expected with ESPRESSO and ELT-HIRES will impact on fundamental cosmology. In particular we show that a 20 to 30 night program on ELT-HIRES will allow it to play a leading role in fundamental cosmology

Physical Review D
Volume 90, Page 063519_1
September 2014

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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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