In the next decade, we will map out enormous volumes of our Universe to unprecedented precision. Subtle features in these maps can reveal the presence of new particles, the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and even the mechanism for cosmic inflation. We will also learn about the formation of galaxies and how different types of matter are distributed throughout our Universe. The key to achieving these goals is a detailed understanding of structure formation, the gravitational collapse of seed density perturbations into the large-scale structure of the Universe we see today. I will review the history of structure in our Universe, recent innovations by my group in the theory of structure formation, and how they can be used to identify new physics in cosmological datasets.
Marilena Loverde is an Assistant Professor of Physics at the C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University. In Fall 2021, she will move to Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Washington. Loverde is a theorist whose primary research area is physical cosmology, specifically modeling the large-scale structure of the Universe and developing astrophysical probes of dark energy, dark matter, inflation, and neutrinos. Loverde received a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University, and did postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Chicago. Loverde is co-chair of the Maps to Parameters analysis working group for the CMB-S4 Experiment.