FirstPeriodProjectC1 - TransRegio

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C1 - Simulating the Dark Universe

Dark matter has so far only been detected indirectly through its gravitational effects on visible objects and on photon geodesics. Dark matter structures bend light rays and bind galaxies and gas intomassive objects like galaxy filaments and clusters. Dark energy was originally detected by its influence on the overall expansion history of the Universe, but also affects the growth of cosmic structure in a potentially observable fashion.

However, the accessible constraints on the nature of dark matter and dark energy almost all depend on the non-linear distribution of dark matter and its evolution with redshift. Interpretation of the observational data thus requires accurate predictions of these nonlinear distributions which can only be made using numerical simulations. Precise and exhaustive simulations are required to draw meaningful conclusions about dark matter and dark energy from studies of observed structures such as galaxies or galaxy clusters.

The aim of this project is to provide the simulations needed to interpret forthcoming observational attempts to constrain theoretical models for dark energy, in particular for those that are derived in the other projects of the Transregio 33.

To this end we will carry out high-resolution cosmological simulations of structure formation with a suitably modified version of the code GADGET-2. The principal investigators of project C1 are Prof. Simon D. M. White and Dr. Volker Springel of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics.

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