Carnegie Mellon University
October 18, 2012

News Brief: CMU, Penn State Researchers Awarded $300,000 New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology Grant

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology and The Pennsylvania State University have been awarded a $300,000 New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology Grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

The grant will allow the researchers, including CMU physicists Richard Holman and Shirley Ho, postdoc Ross O'Connell and McWilliams Post-doctoral Fellow Nishant Agarwal, and Penn State physicist Sarah Shandera, to explore one of the big questions in cosmology: what is the earliest state of the universe?

In their project, titled "CosmoArchaeology: Digging for the Initial State," the researchers will combine theoretical research that applies quantum mechanics to the idea of the inflationary universe with observational data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Planck mission.

The New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology program marks the centenary of the birth of Sir John Templeton, who regarded cosmology and astronomy as exemplary scientific pursuits that have continually expanded humanity's vision of the world.