Astrophysics, Particles and Cosmology

Members:

Pilar Ruiz Lapuente (Senior Scientist)

Beatriz Gato Rivera (Senior Scientist)

Pedro Martínez Gadea (Emeritus Scientist)

Carlos García García (Ph.D. Student)

Bert Schellekens (Regular Visitor from Nikhef, Amsterdam)

Descripción breve/Brief description:

La investigación de nuestro grupo abarca, por un lado, el estudio de la Energía Oscura, que es la causa desconocida de la expansión acelerada del Universo, junto con la física de las supernovas implicadas en las observaciones, confrontando así diversos tipos de modelos cosmológicos con estas. Por otro lado, investigamos varios problemas de la física teórica de las partículas elementales, incluyendo también la gravedad emergente y los fundamentos de la Mecánica Cuántica. Además, estamos visiblemente comprometidos con la divulgación científica, tanto impartiendo conferencias como escribiendo libros.


The research of our group deals, on one side, with the study of Dark Energy, that is the unknown source of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, together with the physics of the supernovae (SN) involved in the observations, confronting in this way different types of cosmological models with observation. On the other side, we investigate various issues related to the theoretical physics of elementary particles, including also emergent gravity and foundations of Quantum Mechanics. In addition, we are remarkably committed to scientific outreach activities, giving talks as well as writing books.

Research lines and main objectives:

Observational and theoretical studies of Dark Energy.

The aim is to explore the possible evolution, on a cosmic scale, of the equation of state of Dark Energy by means of various sources of observations: very distant SN, baryon acoustic oscillations, the evolution of large-scale structure, and weak gravitational lensing.   This task will be carried out within the Supernova Cosmology Project, one of the two international collaborations that discovered the accelerated expansion of the Universe. On the theoretical side, we will compare different models with those observations.

Theories of Modified Gravity

These theories introduce modifications to General Relativity mainly proposed, nowadays, as an explanation of Dark Energy. Their predictions will likely become testable with the next generation of large telescopes and future space missions.

Theories of Emergent Gravity

In these theories, gravitation is not a fundamental force but the result of a collective phenomenon, such as quantum entanglement or thermodynamics. These theories aim to make progress in our understanding of the nature of space-time and gravitation.

The full development of Scan Quantum Mechanics

This is a proposal of ours in which the quantum superposition of states is only an approximate concept. A crucial property is postulated – quantum inertia – whose critical values are behind the division line between quantum and classical behavior of physical systems. Therefore, if the system’s quantum inertia is below a critical value, it behaves according to conventional Quantum Mechanics, whereas if the quantum inertia is above the critical value, the system behaves according to Classical Mechanics.

Other goals

We also study mathematical issues of interest for geometrical quantization as well as for differential geometry. A topic which has interest both in geometric quantization and in Kähler geometry is the study of the G-invariant Ricci-flat Kähler structures on tangent bundles of Riemannian symmetric spaces of compact type. The study should be made in several steps: the general case, the rank-one case, the Hermitian symmetric case, the rank-two case, and so on.

Some recent articles

Quantum Inertia Stops Superposition: Scan Quantum Mechanics

Authors: Beatriz Gato-Rivera

IOP Conf. Series: Journal of Physics: Conf. Series 880 (2017) 012032

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/880/1/012032

Dark energy from alpha-attractors: phenomenology and observational constraints

Authors: Carlos García-García; Eric V. Linderc; Pilar Ruíz-Lapuente; and Miguel Zumalacárregui

Journal of  Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics.  Vol. 2018, no.08, 022 (2018)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1475-7516/2018/08/022

Homogeneous Riemannian manifolds with the simplest Dirac operator

Authors: Pedro M. Gadea; José C. González-Dávila; José A. Oubiña,

Advances in Geometry, Vol. 18, no. 3, 289-302 (2018)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/advgeom-2018-0003

Recent outreach books :

Antimateria

Beatriz Gato Rivera

Colección ¿Que Sabemos de? , CSIC/Libros de la Catarata, 2018

La aceleración del universo

Pilar Ruiz Lapuente

Colección ¿Que Sabemos de? , CSIC/ Libros de la Catarata, 2019

Recent outreach talks:

Antimateria, Materia Oscura y Energía Oscura

Beatriz Gato Rivera

Semana de la Ciencia 2018

Todo sobre el bosón de Higgs

Beatriz Gato Rivera

Semana de la Ciencia 2018

Singular contributions:

In relation to Dark Energy, we must highlight that the leader of our group, Pilar Ruiz Lapuente, was directly involved in the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, as member of the Supernova Cosmology Project. This discovery was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 as well as with the Gruber Prize for Cosmology in 2007 and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2015. As to the physics of thermonuclear supernovae, the research of Pilar Ruiz Lapuente, together with several collaborators, leads worldwide the exploration of nearby supernovae remnants, in the search of survival stars involved in the explosion, and has given rise to several articles in Nature.