Abstract:
Fundamental constants are a cornerstone of our physical laws. Any constant varying in space and/or time would reflect the existence of an almost massless field that couples to matter. This will induce a violation of the universality of free fall. Thus, it is of utmost importance for our understanding of gravity and of the domain of validity of general relativity to test for their constancy. We detail the relations between the constants, the tests of the local position invariance and of the universality of free fall. We then review the main experimental and observational constraints that have been obtained from atomic clocks, the Oklo phenomenon, solar system observations, meteorite dating, quasar absorption spectra, stellar physics, pulsar timing, the cosmic microwave background and big bang nucleosynthesis. At each step we describe the basics of each system, its dependence with respect to the constants, the known systematic effects and the most recent constraints that have been obtained. We then describe the main theoretical frameworks in which the low-energy constants may actually be varying and we focus on the unification mechanisms and the relations between the variation of different constants. To finish, we discuss the more speculative possibility of understanding their numerical values and the apparent fine-tuning that they confront us with.

Abstract:
While tested to a high level of accuracy in the Solar system, general relativity is under the spotlight of both theoreticians and observers on larger scales, mainly because of the need to introduce dark matter and dark energy in the cosmological model. This text reviews the main tests of general relativity focusing on the large scale structure and more particularly weak lensing. The complementarity with other tests (including those on Solar system scales and the equivalence principle) is discussed.

Abstract:
The tests of the constancy of the fundamental constants are tests of the local position invariance and thus of the equivalence principle. We summarize the various constraints that have been obtained and then describe the connection between varying constants and extensions of general relativity. To finish, we discuss the link with cosmology, and more particularly with the acceleration of the Universe. We take the opportunity to summarize various possibilities to test general relativity (but also the Copernican principle) on cosmological scales.

Abstract:
This text aims at discussing the relations between the cosmic acceleration and the theory of gravitation and more generally with the hypotheses underlying the construction of our cosmological model, such as the validity of general relativity on astrophysical scales and the Copernican principle. We hope to illustrate that cosmological data have now the potential of testing these hypotheses, which go beyond the measurements of its parameters.

Abstract:
When the topology of the universe is non trivial, it has been shown that there are constraints on the network of domain walls, cosmic strings and monopoles. I generalize these results to textures and study the cosmological implications of such constraints. I conclude that a large class of multi-connected universes with topological defects accounting for structure formation are ruled out by observation of the cosmic microwave background.

Abstract:
Fundamental constants are a cornerstone of our physical laws. Any constant varying in space and/or time would reflect the existence of an almost massless field that couples to matter. This will induce a violation of the universality of free fall. It is thus of utmost importance for our understanding of gravity and of the domain of validity of general relativity to test for their constancy. We thus detail the relations between the constants, the tests of the local position invariance and of the universality of free fall. We then review the main experimental and observational constraints that have been obtained from atomic clocks, the Oklo phenomenon, Solar system observations, meteorites dating, quasar absorption spectra, stellar physics, pulsar timing, the cosmic microwave background and big bang nucleosynthesis. At each step we describe the basics of each system, its dependence with respect to the constants, the known systematic effects and the most recent constraints that have been obtained. We then describe the main theoretical frameworks in which the low-energy constants may actually be varying and we focus on the unification mechanisms and the relations between the variation of different constants. To finish, we discuss the more speculative possibility of understanding their numerical values and the apparent fine-tuning that they confront us with.

Abstract:
Starting from a microscopic approach, we develop a covariant formalism to describe a set of interacting gases. For that purpose, we model the collision term entering the Boltzmann equation for a class of interactions and then integrate this equation to obtain an effective macroscopic description. This formalism will be useful to study the cosmic microwave background non-perturbatively in inhomogeneous cosmologies. It should also be useful for the study of the dynamics of the early universe and can be applied, if one considers fluids of galaxies, to the study of structure formation.

Abstract:
We study the existence and stability of cosmological scaling solutions of a non-minimally coupled scalar field evolving in either an exponential or inverse power law potential. We show that for inverse power law potentials there exist scaling solutions the stability of which does not depend on the coupling constant $\xi$. We then study the more involved case of exponential potentials and show that the scalar field will assymptotically behaves as a barotropic fluid when $\xi\ll 1$. The general case $\xi\not\ll 1$ is then discussed an we illustrate these results by some numerical examples.

Abstract:
Using a general classification of dark enegy models in four classes, we discuss the complementarity of cosmological observations to tackle down the physics beyond the acceleration of our universe. We discuss the tests distinguishing the four classes and then focus on the dynamics of the perturbations in the Newtonian regime. We also exhibit explicitely models that have identical predictions for a subset of observations.

Abstract:
This article describes the various experimental bounds on the variation of the fundamental constants of nature. After a discussion on the role of fundamental constants, of their definition and link with metrology, the various constraints on the variation of the fine structure constant, the gravitational, weak and strong interactions couplings and the electron to proton mass ratio are reviewed. This review aims (1) to provide the basics of each measurement, (2) to show as clearly as possible why it constrains a given constant and (3) to point out the underlying hypotheses. Such an investigation is of importance to compare the different results, particularly in view of understanding the recent claims of the detections of a variation of the fine structure constant and of the electron to proton mass ratio in quasar absorption spectra. The theoretical models leading to the prediction of such variation are also reviewed, including Kaluza-Klein theories, string theories and other alternative theories and cosmological implications of these results are discussed. The links with the tests of general relativity are emphasized.