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Cosmic structures and cosmology


Settore ERC

PE9_7 - The Milky Way
PE9_8 - Galaxies - formation, evolution, clusters
PE9_9 - Cosmology and large-scale structure, dark matter, dark energy


The wealth of cosmological data is currently interpreted with the ΛCDM model: Einstein's cosmological constant and cold dark matter. However, there is no obvious physical mechanism that can generate the cosmological constant or more sophisticated dark energy fluids, nor is there any convincing direct or indirect confirmation of the existence of the cold dark matter particle. We investigate a wide range of extended and modified gravity models, by making the best possible use of all observational constraints to test the viability of these models at various scales and epochs.


We develop and spearhead novel techniques to stress-test the ΛCDM model, e.g. to the aim of detecting feeble general relativistic effects on the largest cosmic scales, or the non-Gaussian imprint of the early inflationary phase, or possible signatures of the particle nature of dark matter. We work at the interface between theoretical and observational cosmology, combining and cross-correlating astrophysical and cosmological observable in a synergistic way, to extract the most information from the oncoming wealth of observational data.

We investigate selected classes of cosmological models and theories of gravity as baseline to understand the capability of future surveys to address fundamental questions about the Universe.


We use N-body/hydrodynamical simulations, analytical and numerical techniques (Einstein-Boltzmann and MCMC codes) and observations in different bands to investigate the formation and evolution of galaxies, clusters, and larger structures, and to describe the properties of cosmological models beyond the standard ΛCDM.

We developed the caustic technique, a unique method to estimate the mass of galaxy clusters well beyond the region of dynamical equilibrium. The method is based on galaxy redshifts alone and is complementary to the more popular gravitational lensing techniques.


  • Hectospec Cluster Survey (HeCS) 
  • HectoMAP Galaxy Redshift Survey 
  • Euclid Consortium
  • SKA Observatory (SKAO) and precursors/pathfinders (LOFAR, ASKAP, MeerKAT)
  • Vera C. Rubin Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC)
  • Einstein Telescope

Prodotti della ricerca

- A. Diaferio

- S. Camera

L. Ostorero

- F. Pace


Ultimo aggiornamento: 20/09/2023 10:12
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