Cosmology & Gravity Accomplishments
- Measuring minute fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation, the “glow” from the Big Bang, through a series of increasingly precise measurements using instruments on the Earth’s surface, at the top of the earth’s atmosphere and in space, and their detailed interpretation. Taken together with other studies, these have confirmed the inflationary Big Bang model.
- The ambitious five-year Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, which is creating one of the world’s largest catalogues of supernovae observations to measure the recent expansion of the universe and map the distribution of ordinary mass and dark matter within it.
- Performing the largest cosmological simulations in the world, in collaboration with international colleagues. One of the largest such efforts, the “Millennium Simulation,” was featured on the cover of the prestigious journal Nature.
- This CIFAR program has also helped earn Canada a reputation as a global leader in this fundamental area of research. Building on Canada’s historic strength in observational astronomy and cosmology, CIFAR has created a team who work with other leading scientists around the globe, designing and building new instruments, leading observational campaigns and developing the most advanced computational models in the world. No single number characterizes the quality and impact of this team, but 8 members have published work that has resulted in more than 10,000 citations each. Three of the Canadian researchers are identified by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as highly-cited individuals world-wide.