University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravitation

Keith Olive
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Keith Olive

Keith Olive's research centers on particle physics and cosmology in the areas of: big ban nucleosynthesis, which is an explanation of the origin of the light element isotopes through 7Li; particle dark matter, specifically supersymmetric dark matter; big bang baryogenesis, which is an explanation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry observed in nature; and inflation, which is a theory constructed to resolve many outstanding problems in standard cosmology.

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Physics of The Cosmos

Welcome to the Cosmology Group at the University of Minnesota! We are a diverse but cohesive group of Physics and Astronomy faculty, post-docs and graduate students engaged in research work in Cosmology, Gravitation and related fields. Our research interests span a wide range of topics in the experimental, theoretical and observational Cosmology.

On the experimental side we are involved in all aspects of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment, in the building of balloon-borne instruments to detect minute signals from the Big Bang as imprinted on the Cosmic Microwave Background, and in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), a network of multi-kilometer interferometers designed to search for gravitational waves. On the theoretical side we investigate the earliest moments of the Universe, the inflationary epoch whose outcome sets the stage for the later evolution of galaxies and clusters. We map the mass distribution in these structures in order to reveal the properties of dark matter. We also study the origin and evolution of the chemical elements from their production during the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis and in the interiors of stars, to their dispersal by supernova and mixing into the interstellar medium. We carry out observational programs to test theoretical predictions of the chemical evolution models and to uncover new properties of stars and galaxies.

Our weekly Monday lunchtime seminars cover a variety of cosmology and related topics and are generally accompanied by lively discussions. With the generous help from the Fine Theoretical Physics Institute we organize yearly workshops that attract international experts.

Astrophysics and Cosmology Faculty

Priscilla CushmanDark matter searches, novel particle detectors, collaborative work in integrative tools for Underground Science, low background techniques
Lucy FortsonHigh-energy astrophysics, gamma-ray astronomy, extragalactic astronomy including active galactic nuclei and barred spirals; Developing online citizen science as a method to solve research problems with large datasets; physics education research.
Shaul HananyObservational Cosmology; Early Universe Physics
Alexander HegerMassive and very massive stars, the first stars, stellar rotation, nucleosynthesis, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, X-ray bursts.
Vuk MandicGravitational Wave Physics, Observational Cosmology, Early Universe Physics
Keith OliveCosmology/Particle Physics
Marco PelosoAstroparticle physics, Inflation, Cosmology of extra-dimensions, Physics beyond the Standard Model
Clement PrykeAstrophysics and Cosmology--Cosmic microwave background
Yong-Zhong QianNuclear/particle astrophysics and cosmology: neutrino oscillations and their effects in astrophysical environments, supernova explosion and nucleosynthesis, chemical evolution of galaxies
M. Claudia ScarlataGalaxy formation and evolution: massive galaxies, evolution of galaxy structure. Lyα line as a cosmological tool: escape of Lyα photons, large-scale structure, Lyα blobs. Reionization: Lyman continuum escape fraction, IR background fluctuations
Evan SkillmanExtragalactic Observational Astronomy; Specializing in: Chemical Evolution of Galaxies, Structure and Evolution of Dwarf Galaxies, H II Region Abundances, Star Formation, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, Cluster Galaxies
Liliya L.R. WilliamsCosmology; distribution of dark matter; gravitational lensing; formation of structure

Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Staff

Francois AubinCosmology
Projjwal BanerjeeNuclear astrophysics
Danielle Berg
Hassan ChaganiSuper Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) experiment
Gwynne Crowder
Stefan Fliescher
Matthew Frittsastroparticle physics, cosmology, cryogenics
Kristen McQuinnGalaxy Evolution, Resolved Stellar Populations, Starburst Galaxies
Tommy NelsonClassical and recurrent novae X-rays from cataclysmic variables and symbiotic stars High energy emission from blazars, tools for citizen science
Robert Schwarz
Christopher Sheehy
Anthony Villano
Kyle Willett

Astrophysics and Cosmology Graduate Students

Chaoyun BaoCosmic Microwave Background Polarization
Bikramjit ChandraObservational Cosmology
Marcos Garcia Garcia
Chen Hou
Allison KennedyI am interested in particle physics with a current emphasis on dark matter.
Cheng-Hsien LiNeutrino oscillations with three flavors and CP violation
Mark Mackey
Charles McEachern
Sergey Monin
Mark PepinCosmology, Particle Physics, Dark Matter
Tanner PrestegardGravitational waves, cosmology
Congxin Qiu
Catherine Raach
Pamela Sherwood
Addishiwot WoldesenbetGravitational Lensing
Zhen YuanSemi Analytic Galaxy Formation and Chemical Evolution Model

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