Structure Formation in the Universe: From the Dark Side to First Light
Rich structures in the Universe such as stars, galaxies, and galaxy clusters have developed over a very long time. It is thought that our Universe is now 13.7 billion years old and that no such structures existed when it began with the Big Bang. Recent observations utilizing large, groundbased telescopes include distant galaxies and quasars that existed when the Universe was less than 1 billion years old. We can track the evolution of the cosmic structure from the present day all the way back to such an early epoch. Understanding how and when the cosmic structure grows is a major goal in modern cosmology and astronomy.