Cosmic evolution can be defined as the variation with z of a given property once the physical dispersion of that property at every z-value, i. e., the cosmic variance, has been taken into account. Given the inhomogeneity of the observed Universe up to scales of several tens of Mpc, the study of Cosmic Evolution implies the analysis of large numbers of similar objects and the use of large enough volumes to properly average and smooth out the local inhomogeneities. Taking into account the present knowledge about the distribution of galaxies and structures, we have considered that a field corresponding to several times 50 Mpc should be covered.
To get the optimum compromise between large area and depth, good spectral resolution and coverage, we have defined the Advanced Large, Homogeneous Area Medium Band Redshift Astronomical, ALHAMBRA-Survey. It is a photometric survey primarily intended for cosmic evolution studies. We propose to cover a large-area (4 square degrees) with 20 contiguous, equal width, medium band optical filters from 3500 A to 9700 A, plus the three standard broad bands, JHK, in the NIR. Thus, it is placed halfway in between the traditional imaging and spectroscopic surveys. It will make possible the study of many different astronomical problems in a self-contained way.
ALHAMBRA-survey is a photometric survey. The survey covers a total area of 4 square degress in the sky distributed in 8 different fields (with half a degree per field) with 20 contiguous, equal width, medium band photometric filters from 3500 A to 9700 A, plus the standard broad bands JHKs in the Near Infrared.