This project has two threads. It explores astronomical evidence for new physics, and it investigates ways in which new physics can explain cosmological problems, especially the acceleration of the Universe. These are subjects of major international interest where CTC has a history of leading contributions and a network of world-class collaborators.
Key milestones over the next five years involve a dual-track approach, developing an understanding of the impact of 'scalar fields' on the evolution of fundamental parameters, combined with an analysis of laboratory, astrophysical and cosmological data sets to detect or constrain these variations. For example, we will extend our detailed studies of alternative explanations for the acceleration of the Universe and dark energy. In particular, we will critically evaluate recent proposals that inhomogeneity could play a role in explaining apparent acceleration without dark energy.