Cosmology

Cosmology is the study of the Universe as a whole rather than individual objects. It involves the study of the origins and ultimate fate of the Universe constrained using observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background and Large-Scale Structure.

Cosmology Research Group

The group plays significant roles in a number of areas and is involved in many of the current high profile observational projects such as PlanckDark Energy Survey (DES), Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), Euclid and the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Lead Researchers related to Data Science:

Professor Sarah Bridle

Sarah is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University, as a part of the Cosmology Research Group, Sarah has played leading roles in DES and LSST. Sarah's group led the first cosmology constraints from the DES, analysing the detailed shape of 10 million galaxies. Since each galaxy covers up to 1000 pixels and is observed with 10-20 exposures To process the data, they have been the biggest user of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) within DES and were awarded 20M CPUh on DiRAC in 2017. Sarah's group is now scaling up to measure shapes of 100s of millions of galaxies with the aim of measure cosmology from the main DES data taken over a 5 year period in Chile.

 

Prof Michael Brown

Michael’s group works in the areas of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and weak gravitational lensing observations. They are heavily involved with The Simons Observatory, a next generation CMB telescope to be located in Chile which will comprise of 10s of thousands of detectors, each sampling the incoming radiation at ~1 kHz. Full scientific exploitation of these data will require many hundreds of mock datasets to be simulated and processed alongside the real data. Given the full 5-year dataset will be ~1 Exabyte, this represents a formidable computing challenge.  The group is also leading the SuperCLASS survey on the e-MERLIN and Lovell telescopes located at Jodrell Bank. Michael’s group are using SuperCLASS to pioneer new data science techniques for processing the very wide-field and high resolution SuperCLASS data, work which will be invaluable for learning how to process the future massive datasets from the SKA. 

Professor Keith Grainge

Keith leads the University of Manchester's work on the SKA. When operational, the array will generate 30Tbit/sec of raw data which will lead to data transport problems on an international scale. Keith and his team work to solve these problems before the array becomes operational, and they are currently developing a tiered data delivery system to allow the end user to access the data sets. Part of Keith's work will also concentrate on developing new algorithms to enable end users to analyse the data gathered by the SKA.

 

Dr Scott Kay

Scott is a core member of the Virgo Consortium, an international collaboration of scientists who run large-scale numerical simulations to model the formation of galaxies and large-scale structure. He runs N-body/hydrodynamical simulations to develop and test models of galaxy formation and to study the use of galaxy clusters as cosmological probes. Scott is a co-investigator on Virgo’s DiRAC large project allocation, who have been awarded over 150M core hours over the past 5 years. His group regularly uses the DiRAC Data-Centric Cluster, a 6700-core facility, to run their simulations and analyse the resulting data. Their most recent project, Cluster-EAGLE, has generated around 100TB of data to date.