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
  • Epidemiology and Digital Health
  • Astronomy

Scholarly Research

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

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics
  • Associate Faculty, Perimeter Institute


  • PHYS 444 - Introduction to Particle Physics
    • Taught in 2024
  • 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