School of Humanities and Sciences
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Eva Silverstein
Professor of Physics
BioWhat are the basic degrees of freedom and interactions underlying gravitational and particle physics? What is the mechanism behind the initial seeds of structure in the universe, and how can we test it using cosmological observations? Is there a holographic framework for cosmology that applies throughout the history of the universe, accounting for the effects of horizons and singularities? What new phenomena arise in quantum field theory in generic conditions such as finite density, temperature, or in time dependent backgrounds?
Professor Silverstein attacks basic problems in several areas of theoretical physics. She develops concrete and testable mechanisms for cosmic inflation, accounting for its sensitivity to very high energy physics. This has led to a fruitful interface with cosmic microwave background research, contributing to a more systematic analysis of its observable phenomenology.
Professor Silverstein also develops mechanisms for breaking supersymmetry and for stabilizing the extra dimensions of string theory to model the immense hierarchies between the cosmological horizon, electroweak, and Planck scales in nature. In addition, Professor Silverstein uses the ultraviolet completion of gravity afforded by string theory to address questions of quantum gravity, such as singularity resolution and the physics of black hole and cosmological horizons. Professor Silverstein also uses modern techniques in quantum field theory to model strongly coupled phenomena motivated by measurements in condensed matter physics.
Areas of focus:
 UV complete mechanisms and systematics of cosmic inflation, including stringtheoretic versions of largefield inflation (with gravity wave CMB signatures) and novel mechanisms involving inflaton interactions (with nonGaussian signatures in the CMB)
Systematic theory and analysis of primordial NonGaussianity, taking into account strongly nonlinear effects in quantum field theory encoded in multipoint correlation functions
Longrange interactions in string theory and implications for black hole physics
 Concrete holographic models of de Sitter expansion in string theory, aimed at upgrading the AdS/CFT correspondence to cosmology
 Mechanisms for nonFermi liquid transport and $2k_F$ singularities from strongly coupled finite density quantum field theory
 Mechanisms by which the extra degrees of freedom in string theory induce transitions and duality symmetries between spaces of different topology and dimensionality 
Jon Simon
Affiliate, Physics
BioJon grew up fascinated with electronics, programming, simulating the world, and soccer. He went to Montgomery Blair for highschool, where he was captain of the game programming club and the chess team. As an undergraduate at Caltech, he led the Beavers to a 163 record (seriously we were terrible) over his 3 seasons on the NCAA DIII soccer team, all while learning physics and building electronics. As a graduate student and postdoc at MIT & Harvard, Jon focused primarily on cavity QED and synthetic quantum matter in optical lattices, while achieving the distinction of coming in dead last in the Head of the Charles Regatta Club 8's. On weekends he kitesurfed on the cape.
Jon's passions for light, simulation, and circuits have combined in the study of quantum & classical matter made of light. In his spare time he grapples, flies drones, and trains his cat Emmy to perform tricks. 
Taweewat Somboonpanyakul
Postdoctoral Scholar, Physics
BioI am a postdoctoral researcher at Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC). I have graduated my PhD in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and my bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Chicago.