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Andreas Albrecht

Professor and Chair, Physics Department, UC Davis

Andreas Albrecht is a leading theoretical cosmologist. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 where, with Paul Steinhardt, he wrote one of the original papers on “new” or “slow roll” inflation.

He is the inaugural director of the Center for Quantum Mechanics and Mathematics at UC Davis and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Slow roll inflation has since become the dominant phenomenological theory of the early universe and has passed numerous observational tests with flying colors. Deep puzzles remain regarding the theoretical underpinnings of cosmic inflation and Albrecht is a leading figure in this research area. Albrecht’s work in the 1990’s on observational signatures allowed modern data to rule out a broad category of “active” theories of cosmic structure in favor of the “passive” category (to which inflation belongs).

Albrecht is known for his groundbreaking work on dark energy theory and phenomenology, including key contributions on the Dark Energy Task force and related work to determine the best future.

He is well-known for pioneering work on the arrow of time, the clock ambiguity and the origin of probabilities, all topics that figure prominently in the current search for a more complete theory of the cosmos.

Albrecht moved from a Professorship at Imperial College to UC Davis in 1998 to build the cosmology program there. He was the Physics Department Chair at UC Davis from 2011-2016. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His ongoing research program embraces a wide range of challenges posed by our search for a deeper understanding of the universe.

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