Polarization map of the CMB + galactic foregrounds at 140 GHz
Credit: Susanna Azzoni (Oxford)

Cosmology seminar: Dissecting the cosmic web with caustics

Seminars and colloquia

Job Feldbrugge (Edinburgh)

Seminar series
Knowledge of physics?
Yes, knowledge of physics required
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Dissecting the cosmic web with caustics

The cosmic web is the largest geometric structure in our universe, consisting of an intricate network of empty voids bounded by thin walls, elongated filaments, and dense clusters. Given the array of upcoming cosmological redshift surveys, new analytic tools are needed to study the formation of the various structures, quantify the geometry and topology, and isolate the elements of the cosmic web. New techniques might, for example, help to understand the link between the properties of galaxies and their placement in the large-scale structure. In this talk, I will present my recent developments in the study of the caustic skeleton of the cosmic web. By tracing the phase-space structure of the dark matter sheet, I identify the relevant caustics and illustrate their role in the cosmic web. I quantify the topology of the phase-space structure using persistent homology. Finally, I will present a non-linear extension of constrained Gaussian random field theory. When combined with caustic skeleton theory, this extension allows us to create a specialized set of initial conditions dissecting the elements of the cosmic web. These initial conditions will help cosmologists to systematically study the properties and interplay of the elements of the cosmic web, and their influence on the embedded galaxies.