The standard cosmological model, based on the theory of general relativity, has been very successful in explaining the observable properties of the cosmos. This success is achieved at the price of assuming that the energy content of the universe is currently dominated by dark contributions; namely, dark matter and dark energy. Only the large-scale gravitational interaction of these components has been detected so far and their properties remain largely unknown, despite great effort, both theoretical and experimental, that has been made to identify any direct interactions between the dark sector and luminous matter. At present we do not even know if the dark components really exist as a new kind of matter or represent a mirage produced by modifications of the laws of gravity.
The rapid improvement in the quality and quantity of observational data requires the development of more precise and detailed descriptions of the predictions of various models for the dark sector. The prediction of each candidate model must be confronted with data on all scales where the model makes calculable predictions that can be tested observationally or experimentally. Progress in this direction requires a strong cooperative effort from experimentalists, observers and theorists.
The purpose of this TH Institute is to bring together experts in theory, experiments and observations interested in dark matter, dark energy and tests of the laws of gravity. It will provide an opportunity to discuss new ideas to probe the dark sector and general relativity at diverse scales. The topics to discuss include the current consistency tests of the standard cosmological model, the identification of new observable signatures of dark matter and dark energy, experimental/observational methods, tests of gravity, and questions such as to what extent it is possible to discriminate among alternative models. The program will include review talks on the state-of-the art in various fields, as well as contributions on more specific topics. A lot of free time will be left for discussions.
Organisers: Diego Blas, Clare Burrage, Justin Khoury, Diana Lopez Nacir, Paolo Pani, Sergey Sibiryakov, Alfredo Urbano