PhD Thesis: The supernova cosmology cookbook: Bayesian numerical recipes
Friday 26 September 2014
to 16:00 at
Natallia V. Karpenka (Stockholm University, Department of Physics)
Theoretical and observational cosmology have enjoyed a number of significant successes over the last two decades. Cosmic microwave background measurements from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and Planck, together with large-scale structure and supernova (SN) searches,
have put very tight constraints on cosmological parameters. Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) played a central role in the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the Universe, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011.The last decade has seen an enormous increase in the amount of high quality SN observations, with SN catalogues now containing hundreds of objects. This
number is expected to increase to thousands in the next few years, as data from next-generation missions, such as the Dark Energy Survey and Large Synoptic Survey Telescope become available.
In order to exploit the vast amount of forthcoming high quality data, it is extremely important to develop robust and efficient statistical analysis methods to answer cosmological questions, most notably determining the nature of dark energy. To address these problems my work is based on nested-sampling approaches to parameter estimation and model selection and neural networks for machine-learning. Using advanced Bayesian techniques, I constrain the properties of dark-matter haloes along the SN lines-of-sight via their weak gravitational lensing effects, develop methods for classifying SNe photometrically from their lightcurves, and present results on more general issues associated with constraining cosmological parameters and testing the consistency of different SN compilations.