Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Physics & Astronomy

First Advisor

Bhuvnesh Jain

Abstract

In this PhD Thesis, we present studies which aim at understanding and testing the fundamental assumptions of the LCDM cosmological model. We initially show that weak gravitational lensing can be derived as a consequence of General Relativity, and that it can be applied to astronomical data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) in order to constrain the amplitude of matter fluctuations in the universe. This constraint can be used as an end-to-end cosmological test when it is compared to inferences from the Cosmic Microwave Background. We further extend the cosmological model to account for non-standard parameters which can point to novel physics, and use DES data to assess their statistical significance. We finally show that the Cold Dark Matter (CDM) paradigm can also be fundamentally tested with observational data using morphological signatures of disk galaxies in cluster environments if CDM is self-interacting.

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