Exploring the Universe with cosmological drift effects

Name of applicant

Asta Heinesen


Postdoctoral Fellow


Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France


DKK 1,276,528



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


Cosmological drift effects are changes of physical properties of distant astrophysical sources with time. Examples of such properties include the wavelength of light arriving from the astrophysical source or its position on the sky as viewed from Earth. The cosmological drift effects are entirely new cosmological observables that are only now becoming possible to detect due to the enormous precision needed in instrumentation.


Detections of cosmological drift effects hold the potential to directly and independently measure the volume expansion and acceleration of the Universe. This makes such detections promising for performing consistency tests of the current cosmological paradigm and addressing its foundational mysteries. Advances in our understanding of cosmological drift effects are needed in order to analyse the data in an optimal way.


This project will define novel theoretical frameworks for investigating cosmological drift effects in full generality. These frameworks will allow to analyse data model-independently, without the simplifications of the geometry of the Universe that are conventionally assumed in cosmological modelling. In addition, we will use advanced general-relativistic simulation techniques to produce numerical predictions relevant for measurements of cosmological drift effects by ongoing and future cosmological surveys.

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