The Beecroft Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (BIPAC) was established in 2003 with the support of the Beecroft Charitable Trust. The aim of the Institute is to be a hub of research in theoretical astrophysics and physics, focusing on the origin and evolution of the universe, the formation of large scale structure, dark energy, dark matter and the theory of gravitation. It promotes a synergy between analytic and numerical efforts to tackle the big questions in modern cosmology and facilitates collaborations with many of the cutting-edge observational and experimental programmes being developed at Oxford. The BIPAC hosts the Beecroft Fellowship, an internationally re-known and competitive three year fellowship covering the areas described above (for past Beecroft fellows, see below).
Oxford Physics has a strong programme of research in the “dark sector” of the universe. Researchers in the Beecroft Institute work on many of the key topics in this field. We are among the world leaders in high resolution numerical simulations of galaxy formation and have been at the forefront of proposing models of dark matter and dark energy and methods for detecting them. We lead the way in testing alternative theories of gravity and are extremely active in the theory and observation of large scale structure, using relic radiation left over from the Big Bang, surveys of galaxies and quasars, measurements of gravitational lensing and distant supernovae.