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Gravity & the Extreme Universe

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What is the nature of extreme gravity, and how can it help us understand the origin and evolution of the universe?

For most of human history our only information about the Universe came from visible light. Later we learned to detect other forms of electromagnetic radiation like infrared and radio waves. Today we can finally detect gravitational waves, and that opens the door to fundamentally new ways of observing and understanding the Universe.

Gravitational waves are the “ripples” created in spacetime which are caused by massive accelerating objects. Combined with other observations, they give researchers brand new tools to understand what’s happening in the Universe. Questions include the nature of extreme gravity, the origin and evolution of the universe, and the structure of compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars, as well as profound questions about fundamental physics and astrophysics.

CIFAR’s Gravity & the Extreme Universe program unites world-leading researchers from a number of relevant fields who are taking advantage of this wealth of new information. Fellows were chosen not only for individual excellence, but also for their expertise from a variety of fields, and across theory, experiment and observation.

Path to Societal Impact

We invite experts in industry, civil society, healthcare and government to join fellows in our Gravity & the Extreme Universe program for in-depth, cross-sectoral conversations that drive change and innovation.

Academic and industrial experts in biomedical data analysis and artificial intelligence and CIFAR fellows in the Gravity & the Extreme Universe program are bringing about new technological innovations by using data science techniques from astronomy and cosmology to address complex challenges in genomics and medical imaging, and vice versa. 

Areas of focus:

  • Finding opportunities for advanced image analysis to be deployed across disciplines
  • Identifying key areas, such as image classification or data processing, where researchers and industry can collaborate. 

Do you want to advance the cross-sectoral application of AI? 

Contact: Fiona Cunningham, Director of Innovation

Founded

1986

Renewal Dates

1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016

Supporters

R. Howard Webster Foundation

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Astrophysics
Astronomy
Astroparticle, computational, high energy and particle physics
Observational cosmology

CIFAR Contact

Daniel Bacinello

Fellows & Advisors

Program Director

Victoria Kaspi

Program Director
R. Howard Webster Foundation Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
McGill University
Canada
Fellows

Lars Bildsten

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of California Santa Barbara
United States

J. Richard Bond

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

Mark C. Chen

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Queen's University
Canada

Matthew W. Choptuik

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of British Columbia
Canada

Matt Dobbs

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
McGill University
Canada

Richard S. Ellis

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University College London
United Kingdom

Mark Halpern

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of British Columbia
Canada

Gary Hinshaw

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of British Columbia
Canada

Gilbert Holder

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
United States

Vicky Kalogera

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Northwestern University
United States

Juna A. Kollmeier

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Carnagie Observatories
CITA
University of Toronto
United States

Luis Lehner

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Perimeter Institute
Canada

Arthur B. McDonald

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Queen's University
Canada

Robert C. Myers

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Canada

Julio F. Navarro

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Victoria
Canada

Barth Netterfield

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

John A. Peacock

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Ue-Li Pen

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

Harald P. Pfeiffer

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

E. Sterl Phinney

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
California Institute of Technology
United States

Frans Pretorius

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Princeton University
United States

Scott Ransom

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
United States

Joseph Silk

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
John Hopkins University
United States

Kendrick Smith

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Canada

David Spergel

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Princeton University
United States

Ingrid Stairs

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of British Columbia
Canada

Neil Turok

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Canada

William G. Unruh

Associate Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of British Columbia
Canada

Matias Zaldarriaga

Fellow

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Institute for Advanced Study
United States
Advisors

Roger Blandford

Advisor

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Stanford University
United States

Gabriela González

Advisor

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Louisiana State University
United States

Lyman Page

Advisor

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Princeton University
United States

Eva Silverstein

Advisor

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Stanford University
United States

Scott D. Tremaine

Advisory Committee Chair

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Institute for Advanced Study
United States

Simon White

Advisor

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Germany
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

Iair Arcavi

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Tel Aviv University
Israel

Sarah Burke-Spolaor

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
West Virginia University
United States

Maria R. Drout

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

Daryl Haggard

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
McGill University
Canada

Renée Hložek

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
University of Toronto
Canada

Adrian Liu

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018-2020

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
McGill University
Canada

Raffaella Margutti

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2019-2021

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Northwestern University
United States

Ajith Parameswaran

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017-2019

Gravity & the Extreme Universe
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
India

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