The current Standard Model of cosmology predicts that the majority of the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy. The rest - everything on Earth, all “normal matter” that we understand, - only adds up to less than 5% of the entire universe! Because huge volumes collapse into galaxy clusters, the largest known gravitationally bound structures, they are an ideal laboratory to study the dark universe. I will discuss how we use galaxy cluster observations to understand the nature of these seemingly mysterious cosmological ingredients.
Lucie Baumont is a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University working with Professor Anja von der Linden. She is interested in constraining cosmological models using galaxy clusters. Currently, Lucie is analyzing optical telescope data from the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) located in Cerro Tololo, Chile. She is also excited to be developing data analysis techniques for the upcoming Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will provide an unprecedented amount of data to gain new insight into the nature of dark matter and dark energy.