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Staff Profile

Associate Professor V Jejjala

Position ASSOCIATE CHAIR: THEORETICAL PARTICLE COSMOLOGY
QualificationsPhD, MSc, BSc
Phone 0117176821
Email v.jejjala@wits.ac.za
Organisational Unit School of Physics

The Universe is 13.798 ± 0.037 billion years old. Modern cosmology traces history backward in time to the first microsecond after the Big Bang. We have direct observational evidence up until the surface of last photon scattering, corresponding to when the Universe, at about 380,000 years of age, initially became transparent to radiation, and inferential evidence of prior epochs. But the central enigmas of cosmology — how did the Universe begin? and why is the world as it is? — surely among the first scientific queries posed by our human forbears — remain unanswered. These questions are so challenging precisely because they are also so basic. Unlike most other problems in physics, they reside at the crossroads of quantum theory and gravitation. In order to address them, we require a foundational understanding of fundamental aspects of cosmology. My research concentrates on non-perturbative issues in quantum gravity and strives to develop the language in which these rudimentary and ancient mysteries may be resolved.

P referred e-mail: vishnu.jejjala@gmail.com.

My work is supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. I am a Senior Investigator on the United States National Science Foundation grant CCF-1048082, "CiC (SEA-EAGER): A String Cartography."

  • String Theory / M-Theory
  • Quantum Field Theory
  • Cosmology
  • String Phenomenology
  • Condensed Matter Systems
  • Mathematical Physics

Philosophy
I believe that learning and sharing insights about the mechanisms of Nature are each vitally important and that research and teaching are indivisible. I take both aspects of scholarship seriously. I apply the methodology of research to the classroom and seek to bring the same clarity of exposition that we have for old ideas to new ones. I expect students to engage with learning and assume an active role in their own education.

Courses
Cosmology (honors), 3rd/4th teaching blocks, 2013
Topics to be covered to some degree and in some order include: Hubble's law, the large-scale structure of spacetime, the Friedmann–Robertson–Walker Universe, equations of state, dark energy, dark matter, the age of the Universe, the acceleration parameter, the hot Big Bang, the cosmic microwave background, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, inflation, structure formation, the future history of the Universe, and observational cosmology. The course web page is here.

Student Bursaries
I have a Masters student Simon Moolman. I will take new Masters students in 2014. If you are interested in pursuing studies under my supervision, please e-mail me.

Publications

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