The Aquila consortium for Bayesian Large Scale Structure inference
Our mission: Data science meets the Universe
The Aquila consortium is an international collaboration of researchers interested in developing and applying cutting-edge statistical inference techniques to study the spatial distribution of matter in our Universe. We embrace the latest innovations in information theory and artificial intelligence to optimally extract physical information from data and use derived results to facilitate new discoveries.
Some results
Resimulating the Local Universe
This picture shows the result of a high resolution N-body simulation which has been specifically designed to look like the Local Universe. More precisely it depicts what is the sky of an observer which would be located at the center of our galaxy and look at the entire sky. We use for that a Mollweide projection, which is another way of representing the surface of a full sphere like in geography to represent the surface of the Earth.
The simulation itself is shown through the blue-red colored density field which represents the projection of the 3d density field from our position to a distance of 100h-1 Mpc (roughly 300 millions of light years). In addition we represent the true observed galaxies of our Local Universe with small green discs. We clearly see that the green discs and the colored density field track each other. This is a feature of this simulation. This technique will allow to compute complementary observables and cross-check their predictions to actual observations (e.g. X-ray observations, Microwave Background sky).
The darker areas depict the sky limit of the catalog used to constrain and build the simulation. In the plane of the sphere, we see that no object has been observed. Indeed this plane contains our galaxy whose emission and absorption properties hinder the detection and characterization of galaxies lying behind.
Modified gravity constraints
Most extensions to General Relativity introduce additional fields which generate new ("fifth") forces between masses. To escape detection in the Solar System these forces must effectively vanish in dense environments such as the interior of the Milky Way, a phenomenon known as screening. The forces remain operative in sparser environments however -- such as dwarf galaxies in voids -- and lead to a number of potentially observable dynamical and morphological signals. The first step towards testing these theories is therefore to identify which galaxies are screened and which unscreened for given theory parameters, which requires knowledge of a test object's gravitational environment and hence the spatial distribution of surrounding mass. We have used Aquila algorithms to reconstruct the gravitational field within ~200h-1 Mpc and hence determine individual galaxies' degrees of screening: the plot on the left is a slice through the Newtonian potential field (Desmond et al. 2018a ). In ongoing work we use these maps to set precise constraints on chameleon- and symmetron-screened modified gravity (Desmond et al. 2018b).
Contact us
We are open to any new collaborations. Please do not hesitate to contact or individual members of the consortium. The members are available on People page.
Subscribe to updates
You can also subscribe to updates through the mailing list or the social networks.