I'm a postdoctoral research scientist at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics (SITP).

Born in Berkeley and raised in beautiful Healdsburg, I quickly discovered that physics was the best medicine for a youthful obsession with deep sea creatures, sharks, and "squid facts."
I remain a total nature nerd and manage to find ways to explore the physical world even when not doing pen and paper theoretical physics: mountaineering, rock climbing, scuba diving, chasing wild steelhead on the west coast with a fly rod, and backcountry skiing.

Research Interests

My Research interests revolve around the application of quantum field theory (and its classical limit) to a myriad of physical domains such as cosmological perturbations and inflation, relativistic fluid dynamics, astrophysical objects, and condensed matter systems. Throughout my work there is a strong emphasis on effective field theory and spontaneous symmetry breaking (of space- time symmetries in particular).

Why quantum field theory (QFT)? Quantum field theory is the natural language of high-energy (read: particle) physics. Human beings have created some pretty magnificent mathematical machinery in order to understand the fundamental constituents of nature. Doing so required some of the more memorable geniuses of the last century: Feynman, Schwinger, Dyson, Wilson, Oppenheimer, Bethe, and countless others. This structure is so general and powerful that its usefulness extends far beyond predicting the collisions of particles in particle colliders. Questions concerning the nature of quantum chromodynamics (the strong nuclear force) turn out to be related to the boiling of water. Who knew?!

And so, standing on the shoulder's of giants, I use this rich mathematical and physical structure---the ideas, insights, and techniques developed over the last 60 years of studying complicated physical systems---to investigate questions that span the energy spectrum: from the Planck length to cosmological distances. Fundamental questions. How much can we learn about the early universe/fundamental physics from cosmological data? How far can analytical methods take us in accurately describing complicated astrophysical systems? How do the principles of quantum mechanics (unitarity for instance) determine the structure of low energy physics?

On the way I get to understand some of the most wondrous objects in the universe. Things human beings could not have even dreamed of a century ago. Superfluids, the cosmic microwave background, supermassive black holes, the cosmic web, neutron stars. It is a wild universe out there!

Publications

I can't promise this list is up-to-date. Check inspirehep to search for my most recent material.