The group combines the broad and complementary expertise of currently 34 researchers, 15 of which at a senior level, and 7 PhD students.
Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope
On the Galaxies side, the IA hosts expertise in multi-wavelength studies of galaxies spanning a wide range in physical properties, from metal-poor star-forming dwarf galaxies in the local universe to massive Lyman-alpha emitters and powerful radio sources at high redshift. Special emphasis is laid on spatially resolved studies of the assembly history of galaxies with integral field spectroscopy (IFS) and spectral synthesis, and on deep radio and millimeter surveys targeting the first active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the early universe.
Image credit: Bolshoi Simulation
On the Cosmology side, the group's activities are driven by the quest for the missing physics in canonical theories of cosmology recently unveiled by the accelerated expansion of the Universe. The diverse theoretical expertise of the Group encompasses, among other things, the exploration of various competing cosmological scenarios, predictions on the observational imprints of a possible space and time variability of fundamental constants, determinations of the gravitational weak lensing signal from CMB maps and the study of galaxy clusters through Planck and XMM-Newton data.
Besides an extensive publication record and the organization of numerous conferences and workshops, the active participation, including in leadership roles, in major international collaborations and consortia reflect the productivity and international visibility of the group. Of primary importance among them are:
- the definition and implementation of the next generation of whole-sky radio surveys, to be performed with the upcoming generation of SKA Pathfinders. The group assumes leadership role in the proposal for the WODAN Survey (Westerbork) and participates in the EMU Survey (ASKAP) which, by 2018, will have mapped the entire radio sky to unprecedented sensitivity levels, adding fundamental new insights into galaxy formation and evolution;
- the Euclid mission (ESA), of which IA is an affiliated institute. The Group is responsible for the implementation and optimization of the mission's complete sky survey sequence, besides leading one work package (WP) of the Cosmology Theory Science Working Group;
- the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field spectroscopy Area survey (CALIFA), the currently largest ongoing IFS legacy survey of 600 Hubble-type galaxies in the local universe;
- SELGIFS (Study of Emission Line Galaxies with Integral Field Spectroscopy; FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES) a project co-initiated by IA researchers in which they lead the Star Formation History work package.
- MOONS - the upcoming wide-field optical-NIR multi-fiber spectrograph for the ESO-VLT.
The groups' capability for a strategic vision and its implementation is evident in the recent recognition by ESO of our research unit as an ALMA Expertise Centre. Our active involvement in the scientific definition of future facilities and instruments (e.g., ESPRESSO, ESO's E-ELT CODEX, MOSAIC and HIRES instruments, AzTEC at the LMT, and the proposed X-ray mission Athena+), further echo the momentum and international visibility of the group.
The Team members are involved in several international collaborations: Euclid Consortium; CALIFA Survey; Sloan Digital Sky Survey; XMM-Newton Cluster Survey; Planck CMB and secondary anisotropies working group. We are actively contributing to the preparation of present and future data mining in these experiments, as well as exploiting possibilities for future facilities like the ATHENA and COrE-II satellites and the ALMA interferometer.