About the Authors

Fred C. Adams

Fred C. Adams is Professor of Physics at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1988. For his PhD dissertation research, he received the Robert J. Trumpler Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. After serving as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, MA), he joined the faculty in the Physics Department at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) in 1991. Adams was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1996, and to Full Professor in 2001. He is the recipient of the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. He has also been awarded both the Excellence in Education Award and the Excellence in Research Award from the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Michigan. In 2002, he was given The Faculty Recognition Award from the University of Michigan. He has recently been named to as a Senior Fellow for the Michigan Society of Fellows. Professor Adams works in the general area of theoretical astrophysics with a focus on the study of star formation and cosmology. He is internationally recognized for his work on the radiative signature of the star formation process, the dynamics of circumstellar disks, and the physics of molecular clouds. His recent work in star formation includes the development of a theory for the initial mass function for forming stars and studies of extra-solar planetary systems. In cosmology, he has studied many aspects of the inflationary universe, cosmological phase transitions, magnetic monopoles, cosmic rays, anti-matter, and the nature of cosmic background radiation fields. His recent work in cosmology includes a treatise on the long term fate and evolution of the universe and its constituent astrophysical objects.

Itzhak Bars

Itzhak Bars is a Professor of Physics at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1971 and after postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley he was appointed to the faculty of Stanford University in 1973. He returned to Yale University in 1975 as a faculty member in the Physics Department, and after a decade he moved to the University of Southern California in 1984 to build a research group in High Energy Physics. He served as the director of the Caltech-USC Center for Theoretical Physics during 1999-2003. His visiting appointments include Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Professor Bars is a leading expert in symmetries in Physics, which he applies in much of his research on particle physics, field theory, string theory and mathematical physics in over 200 papers. He is the author of a book on “Quantum Mechanics” and co-editor of the books “Symmetry in Particle Physics” and “Strings ’95, Future Perspectives in String Theory”.  Some of his experimentally successful physics predictions include supersymmetry in large nuclei with even/odd numbers of nucleons, and the weak interaction contribution to the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon, in the context of the quantized Standard Model, that was confirmed after 30 years. His contributions to the mathematics of supersymmetry are extensively used in several branches of physics and mathematics. His current interests include String Field Theory, and Two-Time Physics which he originated in 1998.  In 2006 he established that all the physics we know today, as embodied in principle in the Standard Model of Particles and Forces, is better described by a two-time field theory in 4 space and 2 time dimensions projected as a shadow on an emergent 3 space and 1 time dimensions. His honors include Fellow of the American Physical Society, the First Award in the Gravity Research Foundation essay contest (shared with Chris Pope), Outstanding Junior Investigator Award by the Department of Energy, and the A. P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship.

Thomas Buchert

Thomas Buchert is a Professor of Cosmology at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. He is a leading expert in the research field on inhomogeneous cosmological models. He worked as Research Associate at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, in the period 1984–1995 during which he obtained his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Munich in 1988. During the period 1988–1994 he took several short–term visiting positions in Europe being Member of the European Cosmology Network. His research was focussed on cosmological structure formation theories, where the heart of this work was defined within a five years project of the German Science Foundation leading to his Habilitation in Astronomy, received from the University of Munich in 1994. He organized exchange projects with France and Spain, and he was active in the Max-Planck exchange programme with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 1995 he obtained the degree Lecturer at the University of Munich. Since then until 2006 he worked as Research Associate at the Technical University in Munich, and as a Lecturer in Theoretical Physics and Cosmology. During that time he was leading a research group within a project on Astroparticle Physics as PI on morphological statistics of cosmic structure. From 1998 until 2006 he took several long–term visiting positions as Associated Member of Personnel at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, as Tomalla Visiting Professor at University of Geneva, as Center of Excellence Researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory in Tokyo, Japan, and as Monkasho Invited Professor at the University of Tokyo at the Research Center for the Early Universe, during which he also worked as Visiting Professor at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. During the summer term 2006 he took a temporary Chair as Full Professor in Theoretical Physics at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. Since then he regularly worked at the Observatory of Paris in France, became Staff Member at the Observatory of Lyon, and Full Professor at the University Claude Bernard, Lyon, in 2007. He gives courses on gravitational theories, mathematical physics, kinetic theory and cosmology within the Master Programme at École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Since 2010 he is head of a large team dealing with galaxy physics, simulations, instrumentation projects and theoretical cosmology, and he is PI of a collaboration on Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Professor Buchert works in the areas of theoretical, observational and statistical cosmology with a focus on the understanding of global properties of world models. His research interests also include Riemann-Cartan geometry, integral geometry and non-trivial topologies of spaceforms. He is internationally recognized for innovations on the morphological analysis of galaxy catalogues and Cosmic Microwave Background maps, on the foundations of the Lagrangian theory of structure formation, and for a set of equations governing the average evolution of inhomogeneous cosmological models in general relativity and their implications for an explanation of the Dark Energy and Dark Matter problems.

Laura Mersini-Houghton

Laura Mersini-Houghton is a Professor of Cosmology and Theoretical Physics at UNC-Chapel Hill. She did her bachelor’s degree at the University of Tirana. Then she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she received her Master’s degree in 1997. She then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she finished her Ph.D. under the mentorship of L. Parker in 2000. She was awarded a postdoctoral research grant at  Scuola Normale in Pisa during 2000-2002. She joint the faculty at the University of North-Chapel Hill in 2004 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2008.

Her main research areas are foundational issues related to the early universe and the current acceleration of the universe. She proposed a theory of the initial conditions of the universe soon after the discovery of the landscape of string theory around 2004. Her theory assumes that before the Big Bang, the universe is a wavefunction propagating in a landscape of possible Big Bangs. As such the theory strongly advocates the existence of a multiverse. It is the only theory that shows why the universe(s) can only start at high energies. Three of the predicted signatures in the sky of this theory for  the birth of the universe from the landscape have been tested recently. For this reason, her theory on how the universe started has received worldwide media attention and has been featured in many science magazines and TV programs such as BBC-Horizon, National Geographic and ‘Through the wormhole: with Morgan Freeman’.
Her previous work on the current acceleration of the universe explored the possibility that the fabric of spacetime at very short distances, which is the realm of quantum gravity, obeys a different relation between the energy and velocity of modes. As the universe grows, this fabric gets stretched (redshifted) and so do the short distance modes along with it. Since these modes are not short any longer they contribute to the dark energy in the universe. This process of replenishing the energy of the universe by the short distance modes that enter it due to being redhsifted continues ad infinitum.

John Terning

John Terning is a Professor of Physics at University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. from University of Toronto and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University. He was also a researcher at Boston University, University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University. Professor Terning was a staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. John Terning’s research Interests include theoretical particle physics, electroweak symmetry breaking, supersymmetry, cosmology, extra dimensions, and AdS/CFT correspondence.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and his research papers have over eight thousand citations.

Yasunori Nomura

Yasunori Nomura is a Professor of Physics at University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D from University of Tokyo in 2000. After serving as a Miller research fellow at University of California, Berkeley and as an Associate Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, he was appointed to the faculty of University of California, Berkeley in 2003. Professor Nomura is a leading theoretical physicist working on particle physics, quantum gravity, and cosmology. He developed theories of grand unification in higher dimensional spacetime and constructed the first realistic composite Higgs model in which the Higgs boson arises from a symmetry breaking. He also proposed that the eternally inflating multiverse is the same thing as quantum many worlds. Professor Nomura is a recipient of the DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Hellman Family Faculty Fund Award, and Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics.

L. William Poirier

Bill Poirier is Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Professor and also Barnie E. Rushing Jr. Distinguished Faculty Member at Texas Tech University, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and also the Department of Physics. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a chemistry research associateship at the University of Chicago. He is also the recipient of a DoE Early Career Award, and the TTU Tribute to Teachers Award. His research interest lies in understanding and solving the Schroedinger equation of quantum mechanics, from both foundational and practical perspectives. In 2009, he developed a new theory of quantum mechanics without wavefunctions, together with an interpretation that has now come to be known as “many interacting worlds.” He is also the recent author of A Conceptual Guide to Thermodynamics (Wiley, 2014).