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Title: Accurate cosmology with galaxy and quasar surveys
Author: Leistedt, B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 904X
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Observations of the cosmic microwave background have led to a golden age of cosmology, where precise measurements can be confronted with predictions from cosmological models. Ongoing and future surveys of the distribution of galaxies will continue this revolution: they will enable us to test the laws of gravity, uncover the properties of dark energy and dark matter, and reinforce the connection to high-energy physics. However, current galaxy survey analyses are already limited by our ability to identify and treat observational systematics, and this problem will be even more pronounced in future experiments. Therefore, it is essential to develop novel methods to deal with these complications when testing cosmological models and searching for new physics. This is the focus of this thesis. Firstly, I will present measurements of primordial non-Gaussianity obtained from the clustering of quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Primordial non-Gaussianity is a powerful probe of inflation, the leading theory of the initial conditions of the universe, but its effects on the distribution of quasars are mimicked by observational systematics. I will describe a framework to deal with these systematics and robustly measure primordial non-Gaussianity from the clustering of quasars. Secondly, I will present a new set of wavelet transforms on the sphere and the ball. These approaches are highly promising for analysing cosmological and geophysical data and dealing with their systematics in novel ways. Finally, I will examine the recent claims that extra massive neutrinos can resolve the tensions between cosmic microwave background, galaxy survey and supernova observations. I will demon- strate that this conclusion is premature since it is driven by the least robust data sets. Given the growing number of cosmological observables and their varied levels of robustness, combining data sets and dealing with such tensions will become critical in the near future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available