UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Alexander Jenkins

Dr Alexander Jenkins

Research Fellow

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2021

Research summary

I am a theorist with broad interests in cosmology, relativity, and gravitational physics. Much of my research looks at novel ways of testing ideas about the early Universe with astronomical observations and/or laboratory experiments.

I am currently working on false vacuum decay, a fascinating quantum-mechanical phenomenon that is a ubiquitous feature of models of the early Universe. Working as a member of the Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics (QSimFP) Consortium, I am helping to develop laboratory experiments that will empirically test our understanding of false vacuum decay for the first time. These experiments could have important and far-reaching implications for areas such as inflation and gravitational waves.

Another key focus of my research is gravitational-wave astronomy. I am particularly interested in using gravitational-wave observations to probe cosmology and fundamental physics, for example by searching for exotic sources like cosmic strings and primordial black holes, or relativistic gravitational phenomena such as the nonlinear memory effect. I am a member of the LISA Consortium (2018-present), and was previously a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (2016-2021).

You can find a full list of my publications at my INSPIRE-HEP author page.

Teaching summary

I am currently the PGTA for PHAS0037: Physical Cosmology.


After obtaining my BA and MSci in Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge (2013-2017), I moved to King's College London for a PhD in Theoretical Physics (2017-2021), before taking up my current role as a Research Fellow at UCL.