Giuseppe Congedo

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Giuseppe Congedo

Postdoctoral research assistant and Beecroft fellow

I am interested in gravitational physics, from weak lensing to gravitational waves. I have a theoretical background, but shifted toward data analysis and experimental physics.

Tutor in general relativity and cosmology at Mansfield College 2016, and Magdalen College, 2015.

I joined the University of Oxford, Astrophysics, in Oct. 2013. I started working on the Euclid mission http://sci.esa.int/euclid/ an M2 ESA Cosmic Vision mission expected for launch around 2020. The Euclid telescope will shed "new light onto the Dark Universe", measuring the dark matter distribution as well as the dark energy content of the universe. Together with Planck measurements, the cosmological parameters will be measured with unprecedented accuracy. The primary technique to achieve this goal is weak lensing. The dark matter distribution can be inferred by looking at the shape of billions of faint galaxies at z~1. The gravitational field induces a small distortion, called cosmic shear, of a few percents on the galaxy shapes. The gravitational shear can be measured in statistical sense by correlating the galaxy shapes at different scales. My activity will mainly focus on developing shape measurement techniques that correctly address instrument artefacts, most of all, the telescope point spread function.

During my PhD at the University of Trento (Italy) I worked for the LISA Pathfinder mission http://sci.esa.int/lisa-pathfinder/, a technology precursor of the future space-based gravitational waves detectors, like LISA and eLISA https://www.elisascience.org/ the next L2-L3 ESA Cosmic Vision candidate. I mainly thought and developed data analysis techniques aiming at estimating the system parameters and the residual differential acceleration noise between free falling test masses. Soon after the graduation, I began my first postdoc and kept working for the mission. Among the activities, I extended, improved and proposed a new technique which merges the parameter estimation and the measurement of acceleration noise in a common procedure. It is expected that this will be the baseline technique for the mission to fly at the end of 2015.

My undergraduate thesis in Physics at the University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) focused on the diffraction and scintillation of gravitational waves due to a stellar cluster. My master thesis in Physics at the same university focused on searching for extrasolar planets with gravitational microlensing.