Abstract:
We discuss how future cluster surveys can constrain cosmological parameters with particular reference to the properties of the dark energy component responsible for the observed acceleration of the universe by probing the evolution of the surface density of clusters as a function of redshift. We explain how the abundance of clusters selected using their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect can be computed as a function of the observed flux and redshift taking into account observational effects due to a finite beam-size. By constructing an idealized set of simulated observations for a fiducial model, we forecast the likely constraints that might be possible for a variety of proposed surveys which are assumed to be flux limited. We find that Sunyaev-Zel'dovich cluster surveys can provide vital complementary information to those expected from surveys for supernovae. We analyse the impact of statistical and systematic uncertainties and find that they only slightly limit our ability to constrain the equation of state of the dark energy component.

Abstract:
Sunyaev Zel'dovich cluster surveys can be used to constrain cosmological parameters. Extracting clusters from the primary anisotropies and the unresolved background from very faint clusters is simple when the telescope beam size is small (1 arcmin), but could be difficult if the beam is larger (8 arcmin). By reference to examples, we show that this is possible by carefully designing the depth of the survey.

Abstract:
We discuss whether massive neutrinos (either active or sterile) can reconcile some of the tensions within cosmological data that have been brought into focus by the recently released {\it Planck} data. We point out that a discrepancy is present when comparing the primary CMB and lensing measurements both from the CMB and galaxy lensing data using CFHTLenS, similar to that which arises when comparing CMB measurements and SZ cluster counts. A consistent picture emerges and including a prior for the cluster constraints and BAOs we find that: for an active neutrino model with 3 degenerate neutrinos, $\sum m_{\nu}= (0.320 \pm 0.081)\,{\rm eV}$, whereas for a sterile neutrino, in addition to 3 neutrinos with a standard hierarchy and $\sum m_{\nu}= 0.06\,{\rm eV}$, $m_{\nu, \, \rm sterile}^{\rm eff}= (0.450 \pm 0.124)\,{\rm eV}$ and $\Delta N_{\rm eff} = 0.45 \pm 0.23$. In both cases there is a significant detection of modification to the neutrino sector from the standard model and in the case of the sterile neutrino it is possible to reconcile the BAO and local $H_0$ measurements. However, a caveat to our result is some internal tension between the CMB and lensing/cluster observations, and the masses are in excess of those estimated from the shape of the matter power spectrum from galaxy surveys.

Abstract:
We consider a class of modified gravity models where the terms added to the standard Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian are just a function of the metric only. For linearized perturbations around an isotropic space-time, this class of models is entirely specified by a rank 4 tensor that encodes possibly time-dependent masses for the gravitons. This tensor has the same symmetries as an elasticity tensor, suggesting an interpretation of massive gravity as an effective rigidity of space-time. If we choose a form for this tensor which is compatible with the symmetries of FRW and enforce full reparameterization invariance, then the only theory possible is a cosmological constant. However, in the case where the theory is only time translation invariant, the ghost-free massive gravity theory is equivalent to the elastic dark energy scenario with the extra Lorentz violating vector giving rise to 2 transverse and 1 longitudinal degrees of freedom, whereas when one demands spatial translation invariance one is left with scalar field theory with a non-standard kinetic term.

Abstract:
In light of upcoming observations modelling perturbations in dark energy and modified gravity models has become an important topic of research. We develop an effective action to construct the components of the perturbed dark energy momentum tensor which appears in the perturbed generalized gravitational field equations, {\delta}G_{\mu\nu} = 8{\pi}G{\delta}T_{\mu\nu} + {\delta}U_{\mu\nu} for linearized perturbations. Our method does not require knowledge of the Lagrangian density of the dark sector to be provided, only its field content. The method is based on the fact that it is only necessary to specify the perturbed Lagrangian to quadratic order and couples this with the assumption of global statistical isotropy of spatial sections to show that the model can be specified completely in terms of a finite number of background dependent functions. We present our formalism in a coordinate independent fashion and provide explicit formulae for the perturbed conservation equation and the components of {\delta}U_{\mu\nu} for two explicit generic examples: (i) the dark sector does not contain extra fields, L = L(g_{\mu\nu}) and (ii) the dark sector contains a scalar field and its first derivative L = L(g_{\mu\nu}, {\phi}, \nabla_{\mu}{\phi}). We discuss how the formalism can be applied to modified gravity models containing derivatives of the metric, curvature tensors, higher derivatives of the scalar fields and vector fields.

Abstract:
The evolution of perturbations is a crucial part of the phenomenology of the dark sector cosmology. We advocate parameterizing these perturbations using equations of state for the entropy perturbation and the anisotropic stress. For small perturbations, these equations of state will be linear in the density, velocity and metric perturbations, and in principle these can be related back to the field content of the underlying model allowing for confrontation with observations. We illustrate our point by constructing gauge invariant entropy perturbations for theories where the dark sector Lagrangian is a general function of a scalar field, its first and second derivatives, and the metric and its first derivative, ${\cal L}={\cal L}(\phi,\partial_\mu\phi,\partial_\mu\partial_\nu\phi,g_{\mu\nu},\partial_{\alpha}g_{\mu\nu})$. As an example, we show how to apply this approach to the case of models of Kinetic Gravity Braiding.

Abstract:
It has been shown that superconducting domain walls in a model with U(1) x Z2 symmetry can form long-lived loops called kinky vortons from random initial conditions in the broken field and a uniform charged background in (2+1) dimensions. In this paper we investigate a similar model with a hyper-cubic symmetry coupled to an unbroken U(1) in which the domain walls can form junctions and hence a lattice. We call this model the charge-coupled cubic-anisotropy (CCCA) model. First, we present a detailed parametric study of the U(1) x Z2 model; features which we vary include the nature of the initial conditions and the coupling constants. This allows us to identify interesting parameters to vary in the more complicated, and hence more computationally intensive, CCCA models. In particular we find that the coefficient of the interaction term can be used to engineer three separate regimes: phase mixing, condensation and phase separation with the condensation regime corresponding to a single value of the coupling constant defined by the determinant of the quartic interaction terms being zero. We then identify the condensation regime in the CCCA model and show that, in this regime, the number of domain walls does not scale in the standard way if the initial conditions have a sufficiently high background charge. Instead of forming loops of domain wall, we find that, within the constraints of dynamic range, the network appears to be moving toward a glass-like configuration. We find that the results are independent of the dimension of the hyper-cube.

Abstract:
We consider a class of modified gravity models where the terms added to the standard Einstein-Hilbert Lagrangian are just a function of the metric only. For linearized perturbations around an isotropic space-time, this class of models is entirely specified by a rank 4 tensor that encodes possibly time-dependent masses for the gravitons. This tensor has the same symmetries as an elasticity tensor, suggesting an interpretation of massive gravity as an effective rigidity of space-time. If we choose a form for this tensor which is compatible with the symmetries of FRW and enforce full reparameterization invariance, then the only theory possible is a cosmological constant. However, in the case where the theory is only time translation invariant, the ghost-free massive gravity theory is equivalent to the elastic dark energy scenario with the extra Lorentz violating vector giving rise to 2 transverse and 1 longitudinal degrees of freedom, whereas when one demands spatial translation invariance one is left with scalar field theory with a non-standard kinetic term.

Abstract:
We present a methodology for computing model independent perturbations in dark energy and modified gravity. This is done from the Lagrangian for perturbations, by showing how field content, symmetries, and physical principles are often sufficient ingredients for closing the set of perturbed fluid equations. The fluid equations close once "equations of state for perturbations" are identified: these are linear combinations of fluid and metric perturbations which construct gauge invariant entropy and anisotropic stress perturbations for broad classes of theories. Our main results are the proof of the equation of state for perturbations presented in a previous paper, and the development of the required calculational tools.

Abstract:
Global topological defects may account for the large cold spot observed in the Cosmic Microwave Background. We explore possibilities of constructing models of supersymmetric F-term hybrid inflation, where the waterfall fields are globally SU(2)-symmetric. In contrast to the case where SU(2) is gauged, there arise Goldstone bosons and additional moduli, which are lifted only by masses of soft-supersymmetry breaking scale. The model predicts the existence of global textures, which can become semi-local strings if the waterfall fields are gauged under U(1)_X. Gravitino overproduction can be avoided if reheating proceeds via the light SU(2)-modes or right-handed sneutrinos. For values of the inflaton- waterfall coupling >=10^-4, the symmetry breaking scale imposed by normalisation of the power spectrum generated from inflation coincides with the energy scale required to explain the most prominent of the cold spots. In this case, the spectrum of density fluctuations is close to scale-invariant which can be reconciled with measurements of the power spectrum by the inclusion of the sub-dominant component due to the topological defects.