David Wands

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David Wands is Professor of Cosmology at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, in the University of Portsmouth.

Physical cosmology branch of astronomy

Physical cosmology is a branch of cosmology concerned with the studies of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the Universe and with fundamental questions about its origin, structure, evolution, and ultimate fate. Cosmology as a science originated with the Copernican principle, which implies that celestial bodies obey identical physical laws to those on Earth, and Newtonian mechanics, which first allowed us to understand those physical laws. Physical cosmology, as it is now understood, began with the development in 1915 of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, followed by major observational discoveries in the 1920s: first, Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe contains a huge number of external galaxies beyond our own Milky Way; then, work by Vesto Slipher and others showed that the universe is expanding. These advances made it possible to speculate about the origin of the universe, and allowed the establishment of the Big Bang Theory, by Georges Lemaître, as the leading cosmological model. A few researchers still advocate a handful of alternative cosmologies; however, most cosmologists agree that the Big Bang theory explains the observations better.

The ICG is a research institute at the University of Portsmouth devoted to topics in cosmology, galaxy evolution and gravitation. It has nearly 50 staff, post-docs and students working on subjects from inflation in the early Universe to understanding the stellar populations in galaxies.

University of Portsmouth university in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England

The University of Portsmouth is a public university in the city of Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The history of the university dates back to 1908, when the Park building opened as a Municipal college and public library. It was previously known as Portsmouth Polytechnic until 1992, when it was granted university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. It is ranked among the Top 100 universities under 50 in the world.

He was educated at Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences (Physical) and Mathematics. He received his PhD from the University of Sussex in 1994, supervised by Prof. John D. Barrow in the Astronomy Centre.

Dr Challoners Grammar School grammar school for boys in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England

Dr Challoner's Grammar School is a selective grammar school for boys, with a co-educational Sixth Form, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. It was given academy status in January 2011.

Amersham market town within Chiltern district in Buckinghamshire, England

Amersham is a market town and civil parish within the Chiltern district in Buckinghamshire, England, in the Chiltern Hills, 27 miles (43 km) northwest of central London. It is part of the London commuter belt. Amersham is 15 miles (24 km) from Aylesbury and 8 34 miles (14 km) from High Wycombe.

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

Gonville & Caius College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The college is the fourth-oldest college at the University of Cambridge and one of the wealthiest. The college has been attended by many students who have gone on to significant accomplishment, including fourteen Nobel Prize winners, the second-most of any Oxbridge college.

Wands has published numerous research papers on cosmology, the physics of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure. Wands' research involves investigation of primordial fluctuations in the density and metric of spacetime. He proposed the curvaton model for the origin of cosmic structure, with David H. Lyth in 2001.

The curvaton is a hypothetical elementary particle which mediates a scalar field in early universe cosmology. It can generate fluctuations during inflation, but does not itself drive inflation, instead it generates curvature perturbations at late times after the inflaton field has decayed and the decay products have redshifted away, when the curvaton is the dominant component of the energy density. It is used to generate a flat spectrum of CMB perturbations in models of inflation where the potential is otherwise too steep or in alternatives to inflation like the pre-Big Bang scenario.

Professor David Lyth is a researcher in particle cosmology at the University of Lancaster. He has published over 165 papers as well as two books on early universe cosmology and cosmological inflation.

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