Cosmology and Quantum Gravity

This research focuses on the big bang and fundamental physics. Astronomical observations and partical phyics experiments have shown in recent years that very large scales and very small scales are linked by the same physical theories, exemplified by the inflationary model of the very early universe. Inflation has helped to from a new branch of physics, known as 'Particle Astrophysics', which is becoming increasingly recognised as a key research area.

One of the goals of Particle Astrophysics is to use the early universe to test the consistency of new developments in particle physics and quantum gravity. An example is the five dimensional brane-world theory that has arisen from superstring models. We are also investigating the effects of quantum gravity on particle physics experiments.

Our work links directly to satellite observations of the universe today. This enables us to explain the pictures of the universe taken by microwave satellites (below), and also provides a set of initial conditions for galaxy formation, linking in with research areas in astrophysical fluid dynamics.

WMAP satellite