Theoretical Cosmology, Field Theory, and Gravitation
My research involves theoretical physics and astrophysics, especially cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. I have worked on questions involving dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, violations of Lorentz invariance, extra dimensions, topological defects, cosmic microwave background anisotropies, causality violation, black holes, and the cosmological constant problem. Most of my current attention is focused on the origin of the universe and the arrow of time, including the roles of inflation, baby universes, and quantum gravity.
I am an old-fashioned theorist ‚ most of my work involves pencil and paper, with occasional simple numerics or plotting in Mathematica. I love working with grad students and postdocs. The basic background requirements include a working knowledge of general relativity and simple field theory (you should be able to recognize all of the terms in the Lagrangian of the Standard Model). Expertise in cosmology, statistical mechanics, or quantum information a plus. But most things are learned as one goes along.
I'm very interested in outreach and the broader impacts of science. I've written a textbook (Spacetime and Geometry), recorded lectures for The Teaching Company, and have a new popular-level book (From Eternity to Here). I blog regularly at Cosmic Variance, and give a lot of talks. Probably too many.
[Image credits: Ken Weingart; Jason Torchinsky]