Physics faculty member Rachel Rosen, and 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. This major award to Columbia will bring postdocs, vistors and workshops to the Theory Center, making Columbia a focal point for theoretical cosmology. Rosen’s research, part of the ``Cosmology Beyond Einstein’s Gravity” portion of the initiative, explores the cosmological implications of the new generation of theories of quantum gravity. Ijjas’ research, part of the `Cosmological Bounces and Bouncing Cosmology,’ portion of the initiative, 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