The struggle against gravity is not futile, as this experiment in the French Alps illustrates.

The armillary sphere of Antonio Santucci at the Museo Galileo in Florence. I'm a theoretical physicist at the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge (KICC), and the Cavendish Laboratory Astrophysics Group at the University of Cambridge. I work on the classical and quantum foundations of gravity, with applications in cosmology and astrophysics. Gravity is more enigmatic than the other fundamental forces in nature (namely the strong and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism). In particular, we don't have a complete quantum gravity theory. The classical theory is Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the gravitational force as curved spacetime. My interests include classical alternatives to Einstein's formulation, and their quantum mechanical ramifications. I have a special interest in persuading computers (particularly supercomputers) to perform the algebraic and symbolic computations required to understand these alternative theories. Other interests include more exotic properties of spacetime geometry (i.e. beyond curvature) and lattice approaches to quantum gravity.

The effects of gravity are mostly apparent at large scales, such as are found in cosmology: motivating study of the history and structure of the Universe. The armillary sphere of Antonio Santucci represents a 16th century understanding of this structure, which has since evolved via minor revisions to the current Lambda-cold dark matter (LCDM) concordance model. Antonio's craftwork is as beautiful as LCDM, so I've included my other photos of the sphere in other pages.

Nala the cat.

I'm also currently the Rosamund Chambers Junior Research Fellow in Astrophysics at Girton College, Cambridge. I was based at Wolfson College for my Ph.D., and Queens' College for my undergraduate and master's in (physical) Natural Sciences. I grew up in Cornwall, which is the south-western tip of England. At the moment I'm dividing my time between Cambridge and the Lorentz Institute at Leiden University. I also work with researchers at CEICO in Prague.

The colourful image behind this text (courtesy of the ESA and Planck Collaboration) shows the polarised microwave sky, as dominated by the magnetised, dusty foreground of the milky way which lies along the equatorial plane. Behind it lies the fainter cosmic microwave background (CMB), a far more interesting signal from the early Universe and one of the very few ways we have to observationally test quantum gravity.

This site is still very much under construction so I apologise for all glitches! If you want to get in touch, feel free to drop me an email. Unfortunately, I don't use social media.