Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg

Cosmology - Themes

The following is a selective list of themes, not meant as a full coverage of our research activities in this field, but to highlight for the non-expert reader a few important notions or topics and to provide corresponding entry points for the research groups list, to which you could go directly by clicking here.

Dark Energy and Dark Matter

The main constituents of the Universe are Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Although they are needed to explain a host of observations (from the galaxy rotation curves to the cosmic acceleration), there is still much to understand about their true nature. The groups at the institute investigate these components of the universe both from the theoretical and observational point of view. The whole complex consisting of their interactions, their connection to gravity and to extra dimensions, their influence of the growth of linear and non-linear structures, their imprint on the cosmic microwave background and on the large scale structure is covered.



Inflation is the epoch of accelerated expansion of the very early Universe that is responsible for the present spatial flatness and homogeneity and for the initial seeds of the cosmological perturbations. Various groups at the institute explore the properties of inflation, its connection to particle physics models, and its observational effects.


Quark matter in the early universe

At about 10 microseconds after the big bang, the early universe passes through the QCD phase transition where quarks combine to form nucleons (the deconfinement and chiral phase transition). The cosmological implications of the QCD phase transitions in the gravitational wave background, primordial magnetic fields, and density fluctuations are explored. Also, the impact of interacting dark matter on the early universe and the properties of compact stars made of dark matter are areas of research.


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