Université de GenèveDépartement de Physique ThéoriqueCAP Genève

Mapping Large-Scale-Structure Evolution over Cosmic Times

20. August 2019
Cite as: 
M. B. Silva, E. D. Kovetz, G. K. Keating, A. Moradinezhad Dizgah, M. Bethermin, P. Breysse, K. Kartare, J. L. Bernal, J. Delabrouille, ESA Voyage-2050 White Paper (2019) [arXiv:1908.07533].
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This paper outlines the science case for line-intensity mapping with a space-borne instrument targeting the sub-millimeter (microwaves) to the far-infrared (FIR) wavelength range. Our goal is to observe and characterize the large-scale structure in the Universe from present times to the high redshift Epoch of Reionization. This is essential to constrain the cosmology of our Universe and form a better understanding of various mechanisms that drive galaxy formation and evolution. We argue that the proposed frequency range would make it possible to probe important metal cooling lines such as [CII] up to very high redshift as well as a large number of rotational lines of the CO molecule. These can be used to trace molecular gas and dust evolution and constrain the buildup in both the cosmic star formation rate density and the cosmic infrared background (CIB). Moreover, surveys at the highest frequencies will detect FIR lines which are used as diagnostics of galaxies and AGN. Tomography of these lines over a wide redshift range will enable invaluable measurements of the cosmic expansion history at epochs inaccessible to other methods, competitive constraints on the parameters of the standard model of cosmology, and numerous tests of dark matter, dark energy, modified gravity and inflation. To reach these goals, large-scale structure must be mapped over a wide range in frequency to trace its time evolution over a reasonable fraction of the volume of the observable Universe. In addition, the surveyed area needs to be very large to beat cosmic variance and to probe the largest scales where its easier to separate the astrophysical and cosmological contributions to the observed signal. Only, a space-borne mission can properly meet these requirements.


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