[Cosmo-torun] ESO-ESA working group on fundamental cosmology: report

Boud Roukema boud w astro.uni.torun.pl
Pon, 25 Wrz 2006, 16:17:37 CEST


ESA-ESO WG on Fundamental Cosmology

Working Group Members:

George Efstathiou 
John Ellis 
Bruno Leibundgut
Simon Lilly 
Yannick Mellier
John Peacock (chair)
Peter Schneider (co-chair)

Abstract of final report

In September 2003, the executives of ESO and ESA agreed to establish a
number of working groups to explore possible synergies between these
two major European astronomical institutions on key scientific
issues. The first two working group reports (on Extrasolar Planets and
the Herschel--ALMA Synergies) were released in 2005 and 2006, and this
third report covers the area of Fundamental Cosmology.

The Working Group's mandate was to concentrate on fundamental issues
in cosmology, as exemplified by the following questions:

     * What are the essential questions in fundamental cosmology?

     * Which of these questions can be tackled, perhaps exclusively,
       with astronomical techniques?

     * What are the appropriate methods with which these key questions
       can be answered?

     * Which of these methods appear promising for realization within
       Europe, or with strong European participation, over the next ~15

     * Which of these methods has a broad range of applications and a
       high degree of versatility even outside the field of fundamental

>From the critical point of view of synergy between ESA and ESO, one
major resulting recommendation concerns the provision of new
generations of imaging survey, where the image quality and near-IR
sensitivity that can be attained only in space are naturally matched
by ground-based imaging and spectroscopy to yield massive datasets
with well-understood photometric redshifts (photo-z's). Such
information is essential for a range of new cosmological tests using
gravitational lensing, large-scale structure, clusters of galaxies,
and supernovae. All these methods can in principle deliver high
accuracy, but a multiplicity of approaches is essential in order that
potential systematics can be diagnosed -- or the possible need for new
physics revealed. Great scope in future cosmology also exists for ELT
studies of the intergalactic medium and space-based studies of the CMB
and gravitational waves; here the synergy is less direct, but these
areas will remain of the highest mutual interest to the agencies. All
these recommended facilities will produce vast datasets of general
applicability, which will have a tremendous impact on broad areas of

Full report (2.4Mb pdf):

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