Working closely with the experimental group, we use astrophysical, particle physics and string theory combined with observations to study gravitation and the origin and evolution of our universe.
Cosmology & Gravity Theory
In cosmology and astrophysics, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (GR) is the foundation for everything from models of the universe to the collision of black holes. Our group is a pioneer in the use of numerical GR to understand such things as the gravitational wave signature of merging black hole and neutron star systems, the properties of spacetime and matter fields approaching the big bang , and elements of string theory.
The study of the nature of large-scale structure was pioneered in this group three decades ago, and we continue to make leading contributions to theories of the origin of this structure. Crucial elements in the work include the measurements by the experimental group of the 2.725 K thermal background radiation, deep observations of galaxies, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that operates out of the neighboring Department of Astrophysical Sciences.
The origin of the physical universe and the cosmological model that describes its evolution must ultimately be explained by fundamental physics. Our group also studies the relationship between particle or string physics and theories of the very early universe, dark matter, the cosmological constant and quintessence. These studies have profound implications for both fundamental physics and cosmology.