Cosmoparticle Initiative


Understanding the effect of neutrinos on large scale structure

Student: Chris Pedersen

First supervisors: Ofer Lahav (Astro), Tom Kitching (MSSL)

Second supervisor: Andreu Font-Ribera (Astro)

Entry year: 2017

A wide-angle view of the NOAO Mayall 4-meter telescope on Kitt Peak National Observatory, P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF…
Project description: Neutrinos are some of the most abundant particles in the universe, but they have a very weak interaction with the other particles. The Standard Model of particle physics assumes that neutrinos are massless, but recently several experiments have shown that neutrinos must have a small but non-zero mass. This exciting discovery was awarded the 2015 Nobel prize in Physics, and it has motivated several attempts to measure the mass of the different neutrino species. One of the most promising approaches is to look at the effect that neutrinos have in the growth of structure in the Universe, as measured from the distribution of galaxies and gas (from redshift surveys like DESI), or from the distribution of dark matter as seen in the lensing of background sources (in lensing surveys like DES, Euclid or LSST). The goal of this project is to accurately model the effect of massive neutrinos in the different cosmological probes, and use data from existing and near future surveys to constrain or measure the mass of neutrinos.


Funding: “Cosmoparticle” funding from Physics and Astronomy