FAST Team: DePaul University — eBOSS

Wavelet Analysis of Large Scale Structure in eBOSS

Team Faculty: Jesús Pando, DePaul University
Team Mentor: Ashley Ross
Team Students: Noel Garcia, Taurean Ford, Kevin Kadowaki
Survey: eBOSS

The very early universe consisted of a plasma soup of baryons in equilibrium with radiation, and dark matter. Dark matter interacts with ordinary matter and radiation only via gravity; since dark matter is much more common, it formed gravitational wells into which the plasma collapsed. However, the radiation pressure was enough to counteract the gravitational collapse. The tension between these two effects caused pressure waves to push some of the baryonic matter out from the gravitational well in waves. As the universe cooled, these waves were imprinted at a specific scale on the matter distribution of the universe and form baryonic acoustic oscillations (BAOs). Our FAST project is attempting to characterize these oscillations using the SDSS BOSS and eBOSS surveys.

Specifically, we are working on implementing wavelet analysis methods to characterize the BAOs. Like traditional Fourier methods, wavelets provide information on the underlying frequencies (or scales) that characterize a sample. However, the wavelet basis functions remain localized and allow the sample to be analyzed both in frequency and position. The localized nature of the basis functions also helps to mitigate the effect of errors in the data, and may allow for an easier route to calculating higher order measures such as the bispectrum.

Noel A. Garcia is a Junior Physics Major currently enrolled in DePaul University, and a member of the FaST Team. He took part in solving for the power spectrum and two-point correlation function of Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations through Wavelet Packet Analysis using the Extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. His primary interests are in astrophysics and signal processing.

Taurean Ford is a Bachelor’s student at DePaul University. His primary interests include electronics and software engineering.

Kevin Kadowaki is a Master’s student at DePaul University. He acquired his B.S. in Theoretical Physics and B.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. His primary interests include astrophysics/cosmology and particle physics.

Jesús Pando serves as chair of the physics department at DePaul. He earned his PhD at the University of Arizona under Fang Li-Zhi and has been at DePaul since 2001. His main research area is in large scale structure in the universe and in the detection of structure in noisy backgrounds. He is president of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and a member of the American Physical Society’s Committee on Minorities.

FAST DePaul University eBoss Poster