Although there were provocative hints throughout the second half of the twentieth century, it wasn’t until the late-1990s that astronomers found definitive evidence that the universe was expanding at an ever-accelerating rate due to an unknown phenomenon now coined “dark energy.” Understanding the nature of dark energy remains one of the most important outstanding problems in all of physics.
I am a member of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) survey, whose principle goal is to elucidate the nature of dark energy by building the most precise three-dimensional map of galaxies in the universe. DESI will measure spectroscopic redshifts for more than 30 million galaxies and quasars (supermassive black holes) over more than 60% of the age of the universe.
In support of this ambitious goal, I work as a member of the data operations and management team, which is responsible for delivering the highest-quality data possible to the DESI scientific collaboration and the broader astronomical community.
My broad scientific interests include: understanding the astrophysical properties of the extragalactic tracers DESI uses to map the expansion history of the universe; constraining theories of modified gravity; searching for rare, exotic sources such as gravitational lenses and transient sources; and using DESI spectra of distant galaxies as probes of the circumgalactic medium around foreground systems.
- Overview of the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys, A. Dey, D. J. Schlegel, D. Lang et al. 2019, AJ, 157, 5
- The DESI Experiment Part I: Science, Targeting, and Survey Design, DESI Collaboration 2016, arXiv:1611.00036
- The DESI Experiment Part II: Instrument Design, DESI Collaboration 2016, arXiv:1611.00037
- Spectroscopic needs for imaging dark energy experiments, J. A. Newman, A. Abate, F. B. Abdalla et al. 2015, Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 63