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Home > Research > Cosmology

Cosmology

Research in cosmology, including gravitation and field theory, covers the following topics. Theory of the origin and evolution of the large-scale structure of the Universe; the cosmic microwave background (depicted above, image courtesy of WMAP/NASA); quintessence, dark energy and the accelerating Universe (Caldwell). The physics of the early Universe at the interface of gravitation, particle physics and cosmology; gravitational radiation; inflationary cosmology; numerical and analytical studies of nonequilibrium classical and quantum fields; dynamics of phase transitions (Gleiser). Theoretical cosmology: the cosmological constant problem, baryogenesis, cosmic inflation, structure formation, singularity resolution, quantum fields in curved spaces, and string cosmology. Quantum gravity: string theory, modified theories of gravity, and loop quantum gravity/spin foams (Alexander).

Images from research in cosmology.

A slice through a simulation of the dynamics of a phase transition as may occur in the early Universe Left: Cosmological phase transitions are very likely to have taken place in the early Universe, as a consequence of symmetry breaking. Such phase transitions have observational consequences for cosmology, playing a role in the cosmic matter-antimatter asymmetry, and leading to the formation of topological defects such as monopoles. At left is a slice through a simulation of the dynamics of a phase transition as may occur in the early Universe, by Prof. Marcelo Gleiser.

Depiction of the effect of a gravitational wave on a test mass Right: An epoch of primordial inflation in the early Universe may have left a unique imprint on the observed cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy, by way of gravitational waves. These waves would leave a distinct pattern on the CMB polarization pattern which would allow us to directly "view" the Universe in the first fraction of a second of the Big Bang. At right is a depiction of the effect of a gravitational wave on a test mass, which in this case is the Universe at the surface of last scattering, by Prof. Robert Caldwell. The effect of a wave, here traveling upwards, is to induce alternating squeezing and stretching distortions of the sphere.

Further information is available at the Cosmology research web page.

Our recent publications.