Research in Astroparticle Physics

The Astroparticle Physics group was born in 2004 to join in a single research group people working on the strongly related fields of cosmology, astrophysics, gravity and particle physics. Shortly, it becomes one of the leading research fields at SISSA. The group's aim is to conduct research that crosses the boundaries between the aforementioned research fields in order to gain a deeper understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe at all scales..

The physics of the Early Universe during about its first three minutes of life is unknown. Cosmological and astrophysical observations have reached accuracies that allow one to speak about `precision Cosmology'. Such observations have provided and keep providing a great deal of information about the structure and the evolution of the universe over a wide range of scales and cosmological eras. Members if the group participate in both the Planck mission and the Euclid mission. Its current research focuses primarily on:

Dark Universe
The ΛCDM is widely accepted as the standard model of cosmology, and it relies on the assumptions that the accelerated expansion of the Universe is due to a cosmological constant and that the non-baryonic matter component consists of Cold Dark Matter. Despite its successes, the ΛCDM is also being challenged both at theoretical and observational levels and there exist a wealth of alternatives to and modifications of such a paradigm. The Astroparticle Physics group addresses both aspects of the Dark component of the Universe:

Gravitation Theory
General Relativity is amongst the most successful modern physical theories. However in the last decades theoretical problems and observational facts have shown us that a further step may be required in order to achieve a better understanding of the universe that we are discoverying each day. The gravity theory group at SISSA is active on both phenomenological and theoretical issues beyond GR along the following lines:

Particle Astrophysics
Very energetic particles (gamma-rays, electrons, neutrinos etc.) arrive at Earth from the outer space and get detected by several ongoing experiments. These fluxes can either come from known astrophysical sources or be originated by unknown processes, like Dark Matter annihilations in the galactic halo or in the Sun. The presence and the properties of Dark Matter particles may also be directly probed by detecting their scatterings on nuclei, in dedicated experiments. The Astroparticle Physics group is involved in studying these processes, and in interpreting the observational data to test particle physics models of Dark Matter and neutrinos.