Vincent Desjacques
Uros Seljak
Ravi Sheth

Sponsored by

image credit: courtesy of T. Okumura et al. (2008)


In recent years cosmological perturbation theory has emerged as a viable method to predict cosmological observations of large scale structure (LSS). On the theory side this is primarily motivated by the development of well defined perturbative expansion approaches, and by the development of numerical techniques to evaluate the N-loop Feynman diagrams and associated loop integrals. More sophisticated methods such as renormalization theory have also been developed. On the data side this is primarily motivated by the present and upcoming cosmological surveys of LSS, which offer an opportunity to constrain cosmological models, including the models of the origins of structure in the universe (e.g. inflation and alternatives), the composition of the universe (especially the nature of the dark matter and the dark energy), the question of the neutrino mass and the cosmological signatures of string physics.

Among the probes of LSS one stands out in terms of statistical power and challenges given the current understanding: galaxy clustering in redshift space or so called redshift space distortions (RSD). These measure galaxy clustering in 3 dimensions and, amongst all probes of LSS, potentially provide the largest amount of information. But to tap this information requires a better understanding of nonlinear evolution of structure, biasing of galaxies relative to dark matter and peculiar velocity effects. Properly understood peculiar velocity induced distortions in the statistics of the galaxy distribution can be used to measure the dark energy equation of state and the linear growth rate as a function of redshift -- each of which provides powerful constraints on new physics (modifications to gravity, etc.).

The primary focus of this workshop is the theoretical modeling of redshift space distortions. We intend to bring a number of experts in the field to discuss theoretical issues such as convergence and precision of perturbative approaches, inclusion of galaxy bias both in the density and the velocity fields, general relativity corrections, and complications that are expected to arise in the analysis of the next generation of datasets.

The presentations will be split into the following topics:

The workshop will be held from 11-13th July 2012 at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zurich.