Cosmic Variance’s very own Risa is coming to USC on Monday to give a colloquium! Her talk is entitled “Lighting up the Dark: Connecting Galaxies and Dark Matter”, and here’s the abstract (link with location info here):
Many of the most vital questions in cosmology require a detailed understanding of a simple question: How does mass connect to light? Making this connection, often described by the galaxy “bias”, is essential both to use galaxy clustering to constrain cosmological models and the physics of dark energy, and to develop a physical understanding of the origin of galaxy properties and their correlations. I will describe several advances towards making this connection, which combine the results of numerical simulations with observations of galaxy clustering and of galaxy clusters. I will present results from a simple yet accurate model which connects dark matter subhalos to galaxies, and is able to reproduce nonlinear galaxy clustering as a function of luminosity from z~5 to the present. This indicates that gravity and dynamical evolution of the dark matter halos are the main factors responsible for the spatial distribution of galaxies. Finally, I will describe a method of connecting galaxies to the mass distribution which is applicable to very large volume simulations, and show how it can be used in combination with large cluster surveys to pin down cosmological parameters and the nature of dark energy.
As it is bound to be exciting stuff, I did a special extra “fun” poster around campus to bring in a few non-regulars.
Should be fun!