I am a graduate student in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.
Over the past decade, sophisticated data analysis of cosmological data sets has established a Standard Cosmological Model, known as Lambda+Cold Dark Matter (LCDM). We live in a Universe where the majority of matter is not baryonic, but cold, dark and weakly interacting. The discovery that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating suggests that most of the energy-density of the Universe is in the form of Dark Energy. Despite the success of the standard LCDM paradigm to explain current datasets, there remain a number of unanswered questions regarding fundamental physics of dark energy and neutrinos. In particular, the mass splittings and mass hierarchy of neutrinos and the Dark Energy equation of state parameter w are still not precisely known. Results from oscillation experiments show that neutrinos have mass, and recent analysis of both Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and Large Scale Structure (LSS) data,have placed strong upper limits on the sum of the neutrino masses. As the datasets grow larger, and data analysis techniques improve, there is great potential that we will be able to address these fundamental questions.