Research

Cosmology and Relativity

Our group forms the Tufts Institute of Cosmology. Members are engaged in fundamental research in theoretical physics and cosmology, with connections to gravitation, elementary particle physics, and quantum field theory.

Some of the central research directions include:

  1. Early Universe Physics, including inflation, quantum cosmology, and the multiverse,
  2. Topological Defects, including cosmic strings and domain walls,
  3. Fundamental Aspects of Gravitation, including quantum fluctuations, energy conditions, and constraints on theories of gravitation,
  4. Particle Cosmology, including dark matter and models of particle production.


Research in these areas involve faculty, postdocs, long term visitors, graduate and undergraduate students. The group has regular seminars including a joint seminar series with MIT.

Professor Ford's work involves the study of quantum fields in curved spacetime, including negative energy densities and quantum fluctuations of the vacuum. Professor Hertzberg's work involves the study of dark matter, models of inflation, reheating, constraints on theories of gravitation, and quantum entanglement. Professor Olum's work involves the study of cosmic strings, including advanced numerical simulations, aspects of energy conditions in general relativity, and anthropic reasoning in cosmology. Professor Vilenkin's work involves the study of eternal inflation, probabilities in the multiverse, quantum cosmology, and cosmic strings.