Nav: Home

New UCI program in modern cosmology to help address fundamental questions about the universe

August 27, 2004

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 27, 2004 -- The UC Irvine Department of Physics and Astronomy has established a research program in modern cosmology - an entirely new field of research at the university.

The new program builds upon the department's existing strengths in particle physics, particle astrophysics, astrophysics and astronomy, thus expanding the current research at the university to the study of nature at not only the smallest but also the largest scales. As a result, the program - established in July - enables scientists at UCI to investigate profound questions at a level of depth and breadth that exists currently at very few other institutions.

Cosmology, one of the oldest sciences, is the exploration of the structure and evolution of the universe. Modern cosmology originated with Einstein's relativistic theory of gravitation and the discovery of cosmic expansion by Hubble in the 1920s. It has since led to the "big bang" cosmic model and, in recent years, advances in the field led scientists to new concepts such as dark matter and dark energy.

"Given our existing programs, we are well positioned to have a significant impact on the emerging field of modern cosmology," said Andrew J. Lankford, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "We are already exploring many of the outstanding fundamental questions such as what is dark matter, what is the nature of dark energy, did Einstein have the last word on gravity, are there additional space-time dimensions, and so on.

"Significant new observational data, made available recently, have made cosmology a fertile field of study. With future experiments, this will continue to be the case, with more and better data expected from satellite-borne missions. It is therefore an exciting time for the department to have cosmology as one of its programs."

To launch the new program, the department has added four new cosmologists to its faculty:

Elizabeth J. Barton received her doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University in 1999. She has held a prestigious Hubble Fellowship at the University of Arizona (2001-2004) and a National Research Council Canada Research Associateship (1999-2001). She is an astrophysical observer with research interests in galaxy evolution, star formation in the earliest galaxies, the relationship between star formation and galactic environment, and the development of the next generation of large optical/infrared telescopes.

James S. Bullock received his doctorate in physics from UC Santa Cruz in 1999. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State University (1999-2001) and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (2001-2004). At Harvard, he held a prestigious Hubble Fellowship. He is a theoretical astrophysicist and cosmologist. His primary interest involves studies of the evolution of structure in the universe.

Asantha R. Cooray received his doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago in 2001. Since that time, he has been a Sherman Fairchild Senior Research Fellow in theoretical astrophysics at Caltech. He is a theoretical cosmologist conducting research in cosmology and astrophysics, which includes studying the early universe, the cosmic microwave background, galaxy clusters, the outer solar system and planetary atmospheres.

Manoj Kaplinghat received his doctorate in physics from Ohio State University in 1999. He has been a research associate at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago (1999-2001) and in the Department of Physics at UC Davis (2001-2004). He is a theoretical cosmologist. His primary research interest involves the study of the cosmic microwave background. He has also worked on a number of other cosmological problems.
-end-
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with approximately 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,300 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit: www.today.uci.edu/experts.

University of California - Irvine

Related Evolution Articles:

Prebiotic evolution: Hairpins help each other out
The evolution of cells and organisms is thought to have been preceded by a phase in which informational molecules like DNA could be replicated selectively.
How to be a winner in the game of evolution
A new study by University of Arizona biologists helps explain why different groups of animals differ dramatically in their number of species, and how this is related to differences in their body forms and ways of life.
The galloping evolution in seahorses
A genome project, comprising six evolutionary biologists from Professor Axel Meyer's research team from Konstanz and researchers from China and Singapore, sequenced and analyzed the genome of the tiger tail seahorse.
Fast evolution affects everyone, everywhere
Rapid evolution of other species happens all around us all the time -- and many of the most extreme examples are associated with human influences.
Landscape evolution and hazards
Landscapes are formed by a combination of uplift and erosion.
New insight into enzyme evolution
How enzymes -- the biological proteins that act as catalysts and help complex reactions occur -- are 'tuned' to work at a particular temperature is described in new research from groups in New Zealand and the UK, including the University of Bristol.
The evolution of Dark-fly
On Nov. 11, 1954, Syuiti Mori turned out the lights on a small group of fruit flies.
A look into the evolution of the eye
A team of researchers, among them a zoologist from the University of Cologne, has succeeded in reconstructing a 160 million year old compound eye of a fossil crustacean found in southeastern France visible.
Is evolution more intelligent than we thought?
Evolution may be more intelligent than we thought, according to a University of Southampton professor.
The evolution of antievolution policies
Organized opposition to the teaching of evolution in public schoolsin the United States began in the 1920s, leading to the famous Scopes Monkey trial.

Related Evolution Reading:

Why Evolution Is True
by Jerry A. Coyne (Author)

"Coyne's knowledge of evolutionary biology is prodigious, his deployment of it as masterful as his touch is light." -Richard Dawkins

In the current debate about creationism and intelligent design, there is an element of the controversy that is rarely mentioned-the evidence. Yet the proof of evolution by natural selection is vast, varied, and magnificent. In this succinct and accessible summary of the facts supporting the theory of natural selection, Jerry A. Coyne dispels common misunderstandings and fears about evolution and clearly confirms the scientific truth that... View Details


Evolution: A Visual Record
by Robert Clark (Author)

Stunning images to reawaken us to the scientific process that drives the amazing diversity of life on earth

Evidence of evolution is everywhere. Through 200 revelatory images, award-winning photographer Robert Clark makes one of the most important foundations of science clear and exciting to everyone. Evolution: A Visual Record transports readers from the near-mystical(human ancestors) to the historic (the famous 'finches' Darwin collected on the Galapagos Islands that spurred his theory); the recently understood (the link between dinosaurs and modern birds)... View Details


Evolution: The Cutting-Edge Guide to Breaking Down Mental Walls and Building the Body You've Always Wanted
by Joe Manganiello (Author)

Joe Manganiello first gained recognition around the world for his incredible, sculpted body while winning both popular and critical praise as the star of HBO's True Blood. Now, from the man that Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh called “walking CGI,” comes the cutting-edge guide to achieving the perfect body and therefore enhancing your overall quality of life.

With a build that men envy and women adore, Joe Manganiello is more than qualified to write the end-all guide to sculpting the perfect body. His fit physique catapulted him to the top of the list of... View Details


Evolution
by Douglas J. Futuyma (Author), Mark Kirkpatrick (Author)

Extensively rewritten and reorganized, this new edition of Evolution--featuring a new coauthor: Mark Kirkpatrick (The University of Texas at Austin)--offers additional expertise in evolutionary genetics and genomics, the fastest-developing area of evolutionary biology. Directed toward an undergraduate audience, the text emphasizes the interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses, thus acquainting students with the process of science. It addresses major themes--including the history of evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory... View Details


Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis
by Michael Denton (Author)

More than thirty years after his landmark book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), biologist Michael Denton revisits his earlier thesis about the inability of Darwinian evolution to explain the history of life. He argues that there remains “an irresistible consilience of evidence for rejecting Darwinian cumulative selection as the major driving force of evolution.” From the origin of life to the origin of human language, the great divisions in the natural order are still as profound as ever, and they are still unsupported by the series of adaptive transitional forms predicted by... View Details


Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution
by Jonathan B. Losos (Author)

A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works
 
Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that... View Details


Evolution: The Whole Story
by Steve Parker (Editor), Alice Roberts (Editor)

Evolution: The Whole Story provides an in-depth and up-to-the- minute account of evolution, one of the ultimate keystone theories in modern science. Ten esteemed experts thoroughly survey how each of Earth's major groups of living things diversified and evolved through time and using visual features that make the story comprehensible, the book gives readers, even those with no previous knowledge of the topic, a clear understanding of evolution and how it brought us to the present day.

Each of seven chapters takes one of Earth's major living groups and describes the... View Details


Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline
by Steven R. Gundry (Author)

"Dr. Gundry has crafted a wise program with a powerful track record.”
–Mehmet Oz, M.D., professor and vice chair of surgery, NY Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center

Does losing weight and staying healthy feel like a battle? Well, it’s really a war. Your enemies are your own genes, backed by millions of years of evolution, and the only way to win is to outsmart them. Dr. Steven Gundry’s revolutionary book shares the health secrets other doctors won’t tell you:

• Why plants are “good” for you because they’re “bad” for you,... View Details


Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Modern Library Chronicles)
by Edward J. Larson (Author)

“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear.

In this lively, deeply erudite... View Details


Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be
by Daniel Loxton (Author), Daniel Loxton (Illustrator)

Evolution is the process that created the terrible teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex and the complex human brain, clever enough to understand the workings of nature. Young readers will learn how a British naturalist named Charles Darwin studied nature and developed his now-famous concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest. And how modern-day science has added to our understanding of the theory of evolution. Can something as complex and wondrous as the natural world be explained by a simple theory? The answer is yes, and now Evolution explains how in a way that makes it easy to... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Confronting Stigma
Why do we harshly judge certain behaviors or conditions, making it harder to talk honestly about them? This hour, TED speakers confront stigmas around addiction, depression, HIV and sex work. Guests include journalist Johann Hari, TV/film producer and mental health advocate Nikki Webber Allen, HIV awareness educator Arik Hartmann, and sex worker and activist Juno Mac.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#461 Adhesives
This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.