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Constraining fundamental physics with the Dark Energy Survey

Jessie MuirGraduate StudentPhysics

Decades of cosmological observations have allowed us to build a standard cosmological model in which the mass-energy density our universe is dominated a mysterious component which drives the accelerating expansion of the universe, but which we don't understand at a fundamental level. We call this component dark energy. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is able to measure dark energy's properties to an unprecedented precision and just released its first competitive cosmological constraints last week. In my talk I will put these results into context by giving an overview of our standard cosmological model, the observations which support it. I'll also discuss some of the steps we need to take to leverage DES' precision towards better understanding fundamental physics, focusing on two projects I'm working on: checking whether the relationship between expansion history and cosmological structure growth agree with the predictions of general relativity, and preventing experimenters' bias by developing a method to blind cosmological analyses which use multiple observational probes.

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