Theoretical Cosmology

A theoretical cosmologist develops dedicated physical-mathematical models to unveil and better understand the global properties of the Universe at large scales.
Theoretical cosmology is at the forefront of research in physics. Many research projects in this area stem from the great unknowns of modern physics: what is the nature of dark matter, that makes up 25% of the matter in the Universe? What is the dark energy, that represents 70% of the energy budget in the Universe? What happened in the very first instants of the early Universe? What triggered the development and evolution of the large-scale structures we observe today in the Universe, such as galaxies, galaxy clusters, cosmic voids? Is it fair to assume fundamental symmetries in Nature to be valid over cosmological time-scales? Can we test properties of fundamental constituents of matter or the existence of exotic particles via the interaction with the other cosmological components?
Theoretical cosmology is a fairly young research area: cosmologists can tailor their speculations and refine their theories thanks to a huge amount of observational data provided by recent and state-of-the-art experiments, and many other observatories are currently under development. Finally, theoretical cosmology is a cross-disciplinary field: the best model that currently summarises our understanding of the observed Universe is rooted in general relativity, standard model of particle physics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, statistics.

The research carried out by the cosmology group at the University of Ferrara is representative of the above scenario. The group mission is to investigate aspects of fundamental physics with cosmological probes. This is achieved in light of current and future observations of international experiments, either space-borne (Planck, LiteBIRD, Euclid), or sub-orbital (LSPE, Simons Observatory, CMB-S4). The main research activities of the group include the study of the early Universe (inflation, violation of fundamental symmetries in Nature, cosmic anomalies), the investigation of the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the study of fundamental particles and their properties (neutrino cosmology, and particle cosmology at large).

These activities are closely related to, and represent a natural complement of, the more observational research lines carried on by the group. The educational and professional paths of the members of the group all have in common, within individual differences in inclination, a strong degree of multidisciplinarity. For this reason the cosmology group gives great importance to the ability to move between theoretical, observational, and phenomenological activties.