Skip to content Skip to navigation


Since its discovery by A. Linde and others, cosmic inflation -- exponential expansion of the universe driven by the potential energy contained in an `inflaton' field -- has become a successful paradigm of early universe cosmology and the origin of structure in the universe.   At the same time,  it leads to great theoretical problems which remain unsolved.  This is a paradigm in search of a theory, and SITP members (including Dimopoulos, Kachru, Kallosh, Linde, Senatore, and Silverstein) have led a major upgrade of our understanding of the dynamics of inflation, taking into account the sensitivity of inflationary theory to quantum gravity that follows from the enormous expansion of the universe and range of the inflaton field during the process.  At the same time, SITP theorists discovered an elegant characterization of observables that are captured by low energy quantum fields, and determined precisely how they are constrained by possible symmetries of nature, including a special candidate known as supersymmetry. . . .  (read more)

Video Brief


Mehrdad Mirbabayi

Mehrdad Mirbabayi is a research scientist at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. He received his PhD from New York University in 2013, and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study from 2013 till 2016. Mirbabayi works on problems in cosmology and gravity. A large part of his research has been devoted to Inflation, black hole physics, and structure formation.

Liam McAllister

Liam McAllister is a professor at Cornell University.  He received his Ph.D from Stanford University in 2005.  He is interested in using string theory to understand the early universe, and in developing compactifications of string theory that lead to realistic four-dimensional physics.  Examples of his work include explicit models of D-brane inflation; applications of the AdS/CFT correspondence to determining the structure of D-brane inflation models; a model of large-field inflation based on axion shift symmetries and axion monodromy; signatures of axion monodromy inflation in the CM

Matias Zaldarriaga

Matias Zaldarriaga is a professor of astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute for Advanced Study.  He received his Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.  He has made many influential and creative contributions to our understanding of the early universe, particle astrophysics, and cosmology as a probe of fundamental physics.

Raphael Flauger

Raphael Flauger is a professor at the University of California, San Diego.  He received his Ph.D from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009.  His research interests range from phenomenological questions in cosmology and particle physics to formal questions in quantum field theory and string theory. Currently, he is interested in extracting clues about fundamental physics from cosmological observations.

J. Richard Bond

J. Richard Bond is a professor at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Physics (CITA).  He received his Ph.D from Caltech in 1979.  His work concerns the theoretical modeling of anistropies of the cosmic background radiation.  Since the 1990s increasingly detailed measurements of such anisotropies have enabled such theoretical models to form a basis for understanding the foundations of contemporary cosmology and the evolution of cosmic structure.

News Item

Congratulations to Renata Kallosh on her election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Renata's election recognizes her important contributions to theoretical physics.  The newly elected members of the American Academy includ

This conference is dedicated to the recent progress in theoretical and observational cosmology, with an emphasis on inflationary cosmology, including its observational status and its implementation in supergravity and string theory.
Nov 18 2016

After the historic announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes by LIGO, Peter Graham answered questions on the discovery and gravitational waves in general at


Subscribe to Cosmology