Welcome to the Cosmology and Relativity group

The Cosmology and Relativity group is one of the leading research groups of the Astronomy Unit in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London. The group has an international reputation and continues to play a leading role in advancing our understanding of the history of the universe. It contains fixed-term academic staff, postdoctoral research fellows and PhD students. We enjoy strong links with the String Theory Group by means of a series of weekly seminars and discussion groups.

Our primary research interests span a wide range of important theoretical topics in modern cosmology.

PhD research in Cosmology and Relativity

The Cosmology and Relativity group takes on new PhD students at the beginning of every academic year. There are a variety of suggested possible projects that new PhD students can work on. Faculty members are also willing to talk to prospective PhD students about supervision and possible research topics. Applications for PhD research are accepted throughout the year with interviews and offers being made around Easter.

Group News

Wednesday seminar

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:14:55 +0000 dmulryne

Helvi Witek (Cambridge) — Wednesday 12th March — Maths Room 103 — 4.30pm

The next Relativity and Cosmology seminar of term takes place on Wednesday 12th March, and will be given by Helvi Witek (Cambridge) speaking on:

 

Black holes as observatories for beyond-standard model physics

Black holes are key players in a wide range of fundamental physics with a rich phenomenology. Here, I will focus on the superradiant effect of Kerr BHs which can yield to instabilities when surrounded by a “mirror”. This setup arises naturally in asymptotically anti-de Sitter spacetimes or in the presence of massive fields surrounding the BH, which can model condensates of ultra-light bosonic fields such as axion-like particles or dark matter candidates. Thus, exploring the superradiant instability of Kerr BHs opens up the exciting possibility to better understand fundamental fields by observing astrophysical BHs. In this talk, I will present recent results concerning massive fields in BH backgrounds as well as first numerical simulations of the fully non-linear case. We have explored massive scalar fields surrounding Kerr BHs and we have found interesting signatures in the scalar and gravitational wave channel. The BH’s response hints a superradiant effects at the non-linear level.

 

The seminar will be in the usual place, Maths Room 103 on the Mile End Campus, at the usual time of 4.30pm.

This week’s Wednesday seminar

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 11:54:56 +0000 dmulryne

Eugene Lim (KCL) — Wednesday 5th march — Maths Room 103 — 4.30pm

The next Relativity and Cosmology seminar of term takes place on Wednesday 5th March, and will be given by Eugene Lim (KCL) speaking on ultrarelaticistic solitons and his numerical relativity programme:

 

Ultrarelativistic Soliton Collisions, Numerical Experiments and all that

In contrast to their reputation of being “non-perturbative, strongly coupled and hard to calculate”, the ultra-relativistic limit of soliton/defect collisions are actually weakly coupled and hence analytically tractable. I will present an analytic derivation of the phase and velocity shifts in general 1+1 soliton collisions, and check that these expressions are accurate with numerical simulations.

This project is part of a general program that I am working on to understand non-perturbative physics with gravity backreaction, which involves the development of a generic adaptive mesh general relativity code GRCHOMBO. I will discuss the general goals of the program, and the current state of GRCHOMBO.

 

The seminar will be in the usual place, Maths Room 103 on the Mile End Campus, at the usual time of 4.30pm.

Wednesday Seminar — Ellie Nalson (QML)

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 11:10:10 +0000 dmulryne
Ellie Nalson (QML) — Wednesday 26th February — Maths Room 103 — 4.30pm

The next Relativity and Cosmology seminar of term takes place on Wednesday 26th February, and will be given by our own Ellie Nalson (QML) speaking on:

 
Non-linear effects on primoridal magnetic field generation
 
Magnetic fields are present on all scales in the Universe and recently have even been found within voids in the large scale structure. At present there is no single “natural” mechanism to generate the initial seed fields needed to produce these inter-galactic magnetic fields. We start by reviewing the main possible generation mechanisms. Then by using fully relativistic cosmological perturbation theory we show analytically how magnetic fields can be generated. We present the amplitude and scale dependence one would expect from such a generation mechanism. 
 
The seminar will be in the usual place, Maths Room 103 on the Mile End Campus, at the usual time of 4.30pm.

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