Summer Project
Professor Tamara Davis

Suitable for:  High level undergraduate students with physics experience and ability to code in Python (or desire to learn).

Project:  This project will perform cosmological measurements for the Dark Energy Survey (DES).  DES is an international collaboration in its fifth year of a five-year observing project, in which we are measuring 5000 square degrees of the sky (about 1/8th of the entire sky) and expect to detect 300 million galaxies.  In addition, we are performing a time-lapse survey of 30 square degrees in which we have discovered thousands of supernovae and are monitoring 771 supermassive black holes.

This project will perform cosmological measurements using supernovae in different parts of the sky to look for anisotropies.  We expect the universe to be homogeneous and isotropic (the cosmological principle).  Therefore if we make cosmological measurements in different parts of the sky we should derive consistent answers.  This project will test whether that is true for type la supernova observations.  If differences are found we will investigate whether they can be explained by known physical effects like peculiar velocities and gravitational lensing (and thus improve cosmological measurements by quantifying those effects) or whether the differences appear in forms that cannot be easily explained within our current models.

Expected outcomes:  Cosmological measurements in different regions of the sky.

Duration:  6-8 weeks

Contact:  Professor Tamara Davis, tamarad@physics.uq.edu.au or phone +61 7 336 53433; room 438, Physics Annexe (6), UQ St Lucia campus.