Evolution and large-scale structure of the universe

DTU Space is participating in several international projects that aim to understand the structure of the universe on the largest scales. This is necessary to understand the development of the early universe and how it will evolve in the future.

Large-scale structure (LSS) describes the distribution of matter and light throughout the Universe. Current observations and mathematical models indicate that the Universe is arranged in a hierarchy of structures. Studies also show that the seeds of these structures were already present during the first few hundred thousands of years of the Universe's life. Observations of the Universe at this early stage provide essential information about its fundamental construction and evolution right up to today.

The Universe's biggest gravitationally cohesive structural units are galaxy clusters, which are strung out along filamentary structures of dark matter. Consequently, observations of clusters and their evolution are important tools for mapping the Universe's large-scale structure.

DTU Space is participating in several projects that make possible complimentary observations such as these. For example, a researcher from the institute is a Principal Investigator (PI) on the Planck satellite which will measure the cosmic microwave background radiation, which clearly shows signs of the Universe's nascent large-scale structure just 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

DTU is also engaged in Earth-based and space-based observations of galaxy clusters, to study amongst other things, how they are distributed in space and how they have evolved with time. Additionally, the institute is involved in observations of the earliest objects in the Universe, which can uncover the roots of its hierarchical construction.

Facts about the Large-scale structure of the Universe:

Research into the large-scale structure of the Universe revolves around understanding the principles that govern the organization of matter on the very largest length scales.

The final fate of the Universe depends on the values of various cosmological parameters, for example, Hubble's constant, which describes the rate of expansion, and the density of matter in the Universe.

Only by determining the values of these and other similar parameters precisely can we confirm whether our Universe will continue to expand ever faster forever. These parameters also allow us to understand the earliest stages of the Universe's life.