Anna Ijjas, recently appointed as an Associate Research Scientist in the Center for Theoretical Physics, will be among the leaders of an international group assembled by the Simons Foundation to tackle one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in science.
Called the `Origins of the Universe,’ the Simons Foundation Initiative will focus on developing new theories of the early cosmos, providing observational predictions, and seeking a deeper understanding of the fundamental physics governing the universe. Ijjas’ research explores a class of theories that replace the big bang with a cosmological bounce: a smooth transition from a previous period of contraction to the current period of expansion. These theories have the potential to address problems of the big bang picture and transform our understanding of the history of space and time. The collaboration, entitled `Cosmological Bounces and Bouncing Cosmology,’ brings together scientists at Columbia and Princeton. Ijjas’ portion will bring $930K to support postdocs, visitors, and workshops.