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UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Prof Hiranya Peiris

Prof Hiranya Peiris

Professor of Astrophysics

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2009

Research summary

My primary research interests are in theoretical and observational cosmology, particularly focusing on the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the fossilized heat of the Big Bang. My recent research has involved using the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data to determine the basic characteristics of the Universe (its contents, history, expansion rate and eventual fate), and exploring the implications of the data for early universe physics. I am a core team member of the Planck Collaboration. Planck, an ESA satellite, is a next generation CMB mission which is currently mapping the CMB from the distant L2 Lagrange Point. I am very interested in observational signatures of physics beyond the standard model (string cosmology, inflation, dark energy etc). I also enjoy thinking about galaxy evolution, stellar dynamics and Galactic structure.

Education

Princeton University
PhD, Astrophysics | 2003
University of Cambridge
BA, Natural Sciences | 1998

Biography

I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, where I gained an MSci. in Physics in 1998. I got my PhD in 2003 at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, and subsequently, was a Hubble Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago. I returned to Cambridge in 2007, spending two years at the Institute of Astronomy, and moved to UCL in 2009. I am currently a Lecturer in Cosmology and STFC Advanced Fellow in the Astrophysics Group. I was born in Sri Lanka, a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean.
Publications