Cosmic voids: a novel probe to shed light on our Universe

Alice Pisani, Elena Massara, David N. Spergel, David Alonso, Tessa Baker, Yan-Chuan Cai, Marius Cautun, Christopher Davies, Vasiliy Demchenko, Olivier Doré, Andy Goulding, Mélanie Habouzit, Nico Hamaus, Adam Hawken, Christopher M. Hirata, Shirley Ho, Bhuvnesh Jain, Christina D. Kreisch, Federico Marulli, Nelson PadillaGiorgia Pollina, Martin Sahlén, Ravi K. Sheth, Rachel Somerville, Istvan Szapudi, Rien van de Weygaert, Francisco Villaescusa-Navarro, Benjamin D. Wandelt, Yun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cosmic voids, the less dense patches of the Universe, are promising laboratories to extract cosmological information. Thanks to their unique low density character, voids are extremely sensitive to diffuse components such as neutrinos and dark energy, and represent ideal environments to study modifications of gravity, where the effects of such modifications are expected to be more prominent. Robust void-related observables, including for example redshift-space distortions (RSD) and weak lensing around voids, are a promising way to chase and test new physics. Cosmological analysis of the large-scale structure of the Universe predominantly relies on the high density regions. Current and upcoming surveys are designed to optimize the extraction of cosmological information from these zones, but leave voids under-exploited. A dense, large area spectroscopic survey with imaging capabilities is ideal to exploit the power of voids fully. Besides helping illuminate the nature of dark energy, modified gravity, and neutrinos, this survey will give access to a detailed map of under-dense regions, providing an unprecedented opportunity to observe and study a so far under-explored galaxy population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • astro-ph.CO

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