Modelling the forces that affect cosmic inflation

In physical cosmology, the term 'cosmic inflation' refers to the potential accelerated expansion of space in the early universe. An EU-funded project is using satellite and other ground-based facilities to model cosmological phenomena to further the study of cosmic inflation.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 8 April 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
SMEs
Space
Countries involved in the project described in the article
France  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  United Kingdom
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Modelling the forces that affect cosmic inflation

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© Sergey Nivens #92182690, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com

Physical cosmology is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its origin, configuration, evolution and ultimate fate. The EU-funded RADIOFOREGROUNDS project is supporting cosmologists in their goal of better understanding the physics of cosmic inflation, or a potential accelerated expansion of space in the early universe.

For scientists trying to tackle the question of cosmic inflation, a phenomenon known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB) is of particular interest. This is electromagnetic radiation that remains from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang cosmology. More specifically, the study of temperature variations in the CMB provides a unique insight into the workings of the early universe.

The EU-funded RADIOFOREGROUNDS project is making use of data from the European Space Agency’s PLANCK satellite mission to investigate cosmic inflation. It is combining information from the satellite with ground-based observations provided by the Teide Observatory’s QUIJOTE project.

In particular, RADIOFOREGROUNDS researchers are interested in finding ways to distinguish pertinent cosmic radiation from various types of interfering signals, to get a clearer picture of conditions in the early universe.

The project is providing state-of-the-art maps and a detailed description of the anomalous microwave emission in the northern sky. It is characterising in detail the synchrotron spectral index and its implications for cosmic-ray electron physics. Researchers are also modelling the large-scale properties of the galactic magnetic field and compiling the most complete multi-frequency catalogue of radio sources, from 10 to 217 GHz, including data on temperature and polarisation.

Combining the output of PLANCK and QUIJOTE, RADIOFOREGROUNDS is providing reference data products that can aid researchers carrying out other sub-orbital experiments and that will be an important asset in the preparation of future space missions.

RADIOFOREGROUNDS is also developing specific software tools for the more efficient exploitation of generated data products, with functionalities going far beyond anything previously available to the cosmology and astrophysics communities .

Project details

  • Project acronym: RADIOFOREGROUNDS
  • Participants: Spain (Coordinator), UK, Italy, France
  • Project N°: 687312
  • Total costs: € 2 175 062
  • EU contribution: € 1 534 437
  • Duration: January 2016 to December 2018

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