Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics

The main research topic of our group is to understand the nature of the “dark” components, Dark Energy and Dark Matter, that characterize the Standard Cosmological model and seems to dominate the mass-energy budget and the dynamics of the Universe today.
To investigate the Dark Energy and Dark Matter problem we adopt a coordinated approach. On the experimental side and thank to our leading roles in the largest ongoing observational campaigns to map the Universe and its evolution (Euclid, DES and CMB Stage IV) we measure the relevant statistical properties of the large-scale structures of the Universe, effectively compressing all the relevant cosmological information. On the theoretical side we develop alternative Dark Energy models and implement new analytic and numerical methods to trace the dynamical evolution of the cosmic structure forward and backward in time. Finally, we optimize statistical tools to optimally combine information from different cosmological probes and compare it with model predictions to eventually test the validity of the standard Cosmological model and its alternatives.
We are also interested in the so-called Missing Baryons problem. Our contribution is to model the physical properties of about 40% of the atoms in the local Universe that are still evading detection. The goal is to optimize the observational strategies to detect and characterize the physical properties of this missing components, focusing on future observations in the X-ray band that will be performed by the Athena satellite mission.

Enzo Branchini
Marco Raveri

PhD students
Antonio Farina