Understanding the Dynamic Universe with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is poised to revolutionize survey astronomy, repeatedly mapping huge sky areas to an unprecedented faint flux limit and yielding a rich dataset with which to probe the physical underpinning of the cosmological model. It will extend time-space volume a thousand times over current surveys, cataloguing 40 billion stars and galaxies. It will also signal 10 million alerts of time-varying phenomena every night, pinpointing violent processes shaping the chemical evolution of the universe. The LSST project will yield both a stacked sky survey of great depth, and the ability to find moving, variable, and transient objects, probing timescales new to astronomy. LSST will be a discovery machine for the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. A recently-awarded KAW research project grant will enable OKC researchers to use LSST to probe cosmological physics in three powerful and complementary directions, by: (1) building the largest, most detailed map of the dark matter distribution in the universe; (2) quantifying and characterizing the recently-discovered population of ultra-faint galaxies currently unexplained by models of galaxy formation within LCDM; (3) precisely charting the expansion history of the universe over the entire epoch of dark energy domination. I will introduce LSST and outline our scientific plans for the project.