Project level: PhD, Honours, Masters

Maps of the positions of millions of galaxies in our Universe are used to refine our understanding of its components and evolution. However, these experiments have left us with more questions than answers. What is the nature of dark energy and dark matter? Is Einstein’s theory of General Relativity correct on scales beyond our solar system?

Upcoming surveys aim to answer these questions. But understanding how the distributions and motions of galaxies relate to fundamental physics and how to sift through this enormous amount of data to uncover the truth requires improving our analysis techniques and developing new ways to use the data.

Several projects are available under this theme, with different emphasis on mathematical theory, data analysis or computer programming. The first is improving and speeding up methods for simulating the Universe on supercomputers. Another is developing new mathematical models for describing how galaxies cluster and move relative to each other. The final project involves using real measurements of the speed with which local galaxies are moving from the completed 2MTF and 6dFGSv surveys to test different gravitational models.

Project members

Dr Cullan Howlett

OzGrav Research Fellow
School of Mathematics and Physics