We propose to investigate the observed accelerated expansion of the Universe. We will attempt to clarify the nature of the dark energy which is responsible for this acceleration in a project based both on theory and observations - a rather unique collabo ration in Norway. Possible forms of vacuum energy will be studied in theories with extra dimensions and other models from modern elementary particle physics. The results of this theoretical attack will be systematically compared with present and future observations. In addition to understanding better the dark energy in the Universe, this approach will also test out new physics beyond the Standard Model of high energy elementary particle physics.
Our project will receive partial funding from the Resea rch Council of Norway in the period 01.01.2004-31.12.2006 in the form of funding for two Ph.D. students and 200 KNOK per yer for travels and visitors.
In order to increase the output from the project, we think it is necessary to have a postdoc and to e xtend the project beyond the year 2006 in order to make use of new data which will be available then.