Cosmology

Cosmology is the study of the universe; its birth, evolution, and ultimate fate. This includes further developing and refining the prevailing model, the Big Bang theory, investigating the universe’s rate of expansion, and measuring radiation left over from the Big Bang, the so-called cosmic microwave background.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Studies of the planetary nebula NGC 7027, using an upgraded spectrometer onboard a high-altitude observatory, have identified the rotational ground-state transition of the helium hydride ion—the first molecule to form after the Big Bang and an essential precursor to molecular hydrogen.

    • Rolf Güsten
    • , Helmut Wiesemeyer
    • , David Neufeld
    • , Karl M. Menten
    • , Urs U. Graf
    • , Karl Jacobs
    • , Bernd Klein
    • , Oliver Ricken
    • , Christophe Risacher
    •  & Jürgen Stutzki
    Nature 568, 357-359
  • Research |

    The abundance of primordial black holes in the Galactic halo is constrained through their microlensing of stars in M31. Despite monitoring tens of millions of stars, only a single candidate event is found, providing stringent upper bounds on their abundance.

    • Hiroko Niikura
    • , Masahiro Takada
    • , Naoki Yasuda
    • , Robert H. Lupton
    • , Takahiro Sumi
    • , Surhud More
    • , Toshiki Kurita
    • , Sunao Sugiyama
    • , Anupreeta More
    • , Masamune Oguri
    •  & Masashi Chiba
    Nature Astronomy 3, 524-534
  • Research |

    In the early Universe, fluctuations in the neutrino density produced a distinct shift in the temporal phase of sound waves in the primordial plasma. The size of this phase shift has now been constrained through baryon acoustic oscillation data.

    • Daniel Baumann
    • , Florian Beutler
    • , Raphael Flauger
    • , Daniel Green
    • , Anže Slosar
    • , Mariana Vargas-Magaña
    • , Benjamin Wallisch
    •  & Christophe Yèche
    Nature Physics 15, 465-469
  • Research |

    Simulations of early galaxy formation suggest that the dynamics of structure formation, rather than the Lyman–Werner flux, drives the formation of massive black holes in the early Universe.

    • John H. Wise
    • , John A. Regan
    • , Brian W. O’Shea
    • , Michael L. Norman
    • , Turlough P. Downes
    •  & Hao Xu
    Nature 566, 85-88

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    We recall Andrei Sakharov’s contributions to physics and his social and political activism and find that his ideas remain as relevant and inspiring today as 50 years ago.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • News and Views |

    While the measurements of the Hubble constant from the local distance ladder and the cosmic microwave background radiation appear to disagree, given a sufficient number of localized detections, gravitational waves may possibly shed light on the tension.

    • Hsin-Yu Chen
    Nature Astronomy 3, 384-385
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Einstein’s general theory of relativity is one of the most important accomplishments in the history of science. We reassess the importance of one of the expeditions that made its experimental verification possible — a story that involves a sense of adventure and scientific ingenuity in equal measure.

    • Luís C. B. Crispino
    •  & Daniel J. Kennefick
    Nature Physics 15, 416-419
  • News and Views |

    In 1951, three separate research groups established radio astronomy as a contender to the dominance of optical astronomy. Using the interstellar 21-cm line, they provided a method to look deeper into our own Galaxy and back in time to the birth of all galaxies.

    • Emma Chapman
    Nature Astronomy 3, 298-299