Abstract: Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) represent a novel tool for probing the properties of the universe at cosmological distances. The dispersion measures of FRBs, combined with the redshifts of their host galaxies, has very recently yielded a direct measurement of the baryon content of the universe, and has the potential to directly constrain the location of the “missing baryons”. The first results are consistent with the expectations of ΛCDM for the cosmic density of baryons, and have provided the first constraints on the properties of the very diffuse intergalactic medium (IGM) and circumgalactic medium (CGM) around galaxies. FRBs are the only known extragalactic sources that are compact enough to exhibit diffractive scintillation in addition to showing exponential tails which are typical of scattering in turbulent media. This will allow us to probe the turbulent properties of the circumburst medium, the host galaxy ISM/halo, and intervening halos along the path, as well as the IGM. Measurement of the Hubble constant and the dark energy parameter w can be made with FRBs, but require very large samples of localised FRBs (>103) to be effective on their own—they are best combined with other independent surveys to improve the constraints. Ionisation events, such as for He ii, leave a signature in the dispersion measure—redshift relation, and if FRBs exist prior to these times, they can be used to probe the reionisation era, although more than 103 localised FRBs are required.
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