Niayesh Afshordi

Niayesh Afshordi
Professor, Undergraduate Advisor - Physics & Astronomy
Location: PHY 251
Phone: 519-888-4567 x42932


Dr. Afshordi dabbles in Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Physics of gravity and is obsessed with observational hints that could help address problems in fundamental physics.

Research Interests

  • Astrophysics
  • Cosmology
  • Physics of Gravity
  • Astrophysics and Gravitation
  • Quantum Science
  • Particle Physics
  • Dr. Afshordi has a comprehensive and ambitious research program which spans a wide area, ranging from Astrophysics and Cosmology to Fundamental Physics, and includes a diverse spectrum of observational, numerical, and analytic components. The program aims at connecting deep questions and mysteries in fundamental physics to novel observational results and/or techniques, which can be used to shed light on the true nature of the laws that govern our Universe. The areas that he and his group are currently focused on are:
  • 1. Phenomenology of Dark Energy, cosmological modifications of General Relativity, and large scale structure of the Universe,
  • 2. Distribution of Dark Matter on small scales and novel windows for Dark Matter detection,
  • 3. Observational consequences of Lorentz-violating theories of Quantum Gravity, and approaches to the Cosmological (non-) Constant Problem,
  • 4. Cosmic initial conditions, and connections to the foundations of Gravity and Quantum Mechanics,
  • 5. Missing baryon problem, and observational probes of intergalactic plasma,
  • 6. Physics of Neutron Stars, Black Holes, and Accretion Disks


  • 2004 PhD in Astrophysics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 1999 BSc in Physics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


  • 2016, Buchalter Cosmology Prize 2015, 3rd place with Elliot Nelson
  • 2011, Early Research Award, Ministry of Research and Innovation, Province of Ontario, Canada
  • 2011, Professor M.K. Vainu Bappu Gold Medal 2008, Astronomical Society of India (jointly with Nissim Kanekar)
  • 2010, Discovery Accelerator Supplement, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • 2008, Distinguished Research Fellowship, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics


  • Scientific Editor, "Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics" Journal

Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics
  • Associate Faculty, Perimeter Institute


  • PHYS 781 - Fundamentals of Astrophysics
    • Taught in 2021
  • SCI 238 - Introductory Astronomy
    • Taught in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Universal clustering of dark matter in phase space Jesus Zavala, Niayesh Afshordi. Aug 11, 2015. 7 pp. Published in Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 457 (2016) no.1, 986-992 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw048
  • Cosmological bounds on TeV-scale physics and beyond Niayesh Afshordi (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & Waterloo U.), Elliot Nelson (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & Penn State U., University Park, IGC). Mar 31, 2015. 16 pp. Published in Phys.Rev. D93 (2016) no.8, 083505 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.93.083505 Conference: C15-08-04 Proceedings
  • Transient Weak-Lensing by Cosmological Dark Matter Microhaloes Sohrab Rahvar (Sharif U. of Tech. & Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys.), Shant Baghram (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & IPM, Tehran & Waterloo U.), Niayesh Afshordi (Waterloo U. & Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys.). Oct 20, 2013. 15 pp. Published in Phys.Rev. D89 (2014) no.6, 063001 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.89.063001
  • First measurement of the bulk flow of nearby galaxies using the cosmic microwave background Guilhem Lavaux (Waterloo U. & Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & Illinois U., Urbana & Johns Hopkins U.), Niayesh Afshordi, Michael J. Hudson (Waterloo U. & Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys.). Jul 2012. 19 pp. Published in Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc. 430 (2013) 1617-1635 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts698
  • Phenomenology of Gravitational Aether as a solution to the Old Cosmological Constant Problem Siavash Aslanbeigi (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & Waterloo U.), Georg Robbers (Garching, Max Planck Inst.), Brendan Z. Foster (Unlisted, US), Kazunori Kohri (KEK, Tsukuba & Sokendai, Kanagawa & Tohoku U.), Niayesh Afshordi (Perimeter Inst. Theor. Phys. & Waterloo U.). Jun 2011. Published in Phys.Rev. D84 (2011) 103522 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.84.103522