University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext 32215
Fax: (519) 746-8115
Professor of Cosmology
Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation
Dr. Percival's research interests focus on the properties of the Universe on the largest scales. Surveys of three-dimensional galaxy positions provide a wealth of data both on the physics just after the Big-Bang when the seed fluctuations that will grow through gravity to become galaxies were created, and on the physics driving the evolution of the Universe today. He currently leads a research team in Portsmouth looking at all aspects of such surveys, from creating the theoretical models to test against observations, through to making and analyzing the observations themselves.
Understanding the physics driving the accelerating expansion of the Universe is one of the primary aims of modern cosmology, and future surveys of the positions and properties of galaxies have the potential to provide the key information required. The clustering of galaxies encodes a wealth of cosmological information from a number of physical processes, including both primordial and projection-based effects. I will introduce some of these processes and present recent measurements made with the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), undertaken as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This survey, which obtained redshifts for 1.15 million galaxies covering a volume of 12.3 Gpc3, has proved to be a goldmine of cosmological information. Future surveys including the eBOSS extension of BOSS, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), the Euclid satellite mission, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), undertaken over the next decade, will provide an order of magnitude more information and I will introduce these surveys and discuss predictions for the expected measurements. Finally, I will review some of the developments required to fully exploit their potential.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.