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The Cosmological Constant
Some future issues in cosmology


Basic Idea: As the cosmological parameters become more and more precisely determined, what other questions will be guiding the field?

Theory: questions about building blocks of paradigm

  • Determining parameters-- question of whether Lambda has been constant over history of universe, or else characterization of equation of state
  • Nature of energy densities
    • baryonic matter: where and what
    • dark matter properties: limits on interactions, clustering
      dynamic
      microlensing searches
      direct searches for interactions (particle physics)
    • luminous vs. dark matter: bias
  • Formation of structure: consequences of paradigm of hierarchical structure formation:
    • identification and characterization of properties--scales, relevant interactions
      dark matter dominated processes (gravity alone), cosmic web
      hydrodynamic processes, radiative transfer
      additional astrophysical processes/effects
    • numerical and analytical approaches

These are questions we know we know lie ahead. Much of the progress has been due to advances in observational and numerical techniques and instruments and here there is rapid progress:

  • Upcoming observations:
    • Planned surveys: inventory and characterization of universe in many wavelengths
      • optical: SDSS, AAd2F, DEEP, etc.
      • xray: XMM, other proposals en route
      • weak lensing
      • SZ
      • sub mm
      • etc.
    • Instruments
    • etc.
  • National Virtual Observatory
  • Numerical simulations Specific systems and eras which are under study by observation, numerical simulations and theory
    • early objects
      • first stars
      • reionization and the end of the dark ages: what and how?
      • high redshift searches
        evolving features, e.g. metallicity
    • backgrounds besides those already discussed:
      X-Ray, gamma ray, FIR, sub mm etc.
      their measurement
      resolution into sources and nature of sources
    • other specific systems: formation, evolution, structure
      • galaxies
      • galaxy clusters
      • large scale structure (flows, etc.)
    • cross correlations implied by paradigm or variations thereof

    Particle cosmology questions

    • What is the inflaton?
    • nature of dark matter
    • predictions for lambda, quintessence
    • upcoming observations
      accelerator searches
      neutrino detectors, amanda, superK

    Some references


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    Comments or Questions? Contact jcohn@astron.berkeley.edu