Waterloo astrophysicists win third in Buchalter Cosmology Prize competition

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Prof. Niayesh AfshordiWaterloo's astrophysicist Niayesh Afshordi (left) and Perimeter Institute post-doctoral fellow Elliot Nelson have won third place in the 2015 Buchalter Cosmology Prize competition.

The announcement was made today at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Afshordi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and faculty member at Perimeter Institute.

The researchers won the prize for their paper Cosmological Non-Constant Problem: Cosmological bounds on TeV-scale physics and beyond that was published in the Journal of High Energy Physics.

The prestigious judging panel for the prize is comprised of leading theoretical physicists noted for their work in cosmology, including Dr. Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Robert Caldwell of Dartmouth College, and Dr. Joao Magueijo of Imperial College London.

The judges considered the Waterloo researchers' work “an intriguing proposition that the Planck scale of quantum gravity may soon be accessible by particle accelerators, based on the expected white noise fluctuations in the cosmological constant, which might not be constant at all but vary widely in space.”

The Buchalter Cosmology Prize was created by, astrophysicist turned entrepreneur, Dr. Avi Buchalter to encourage and recognize ideas in cosmology that have the potential to fundamentally advance our understanding of physics.

The 2015 prize winners represent the kind of innovative thinking that can significantly advance our understanding of the universe,” said Dr. Buchalter.

Submissions for the 2016 Buchalter Cosmology Prize are currently being accepted.