Welcome to the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology

“The CTC exists to develop theories of the Universe which are both mathematically consistent and observationally testable.”
Professor Stephen Hawking
Steven Hawking in front of a blackboard

The Purpose of CTC

There are two circumstances in which the hidden basic fabric of the Universe is violently shaken and unveiled: in the enormous temperatures and densities of the Hot Big Bang and during the extreme collapse to form a black hole. CTC focuses on mathematical theories of these pivotal physical events, confronting them with observational data to gain new insight into the fundamental structure of the Universe and its origin. As well as supporting fellows and visiting professors, CTC's activities include hosting timely workshops and international conferences on frontier topics in cosmology.

Professor Paul Shellard, Director

Latest news and events

Using gravitational waves to catch runaway black holes

Two CTC researchers, Davide Gerosa and Christopher Moore, have developed a new method for detecting and measuring one of the most powerful, and most mysterious, events in the Universe – a black hole being kicked out of its host galaxy and into intergalactic space at speeds as ...more »

Gravitational waves detected from black hole merger

For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves, ripples in the spacetime fabric of our universe predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. This type of radiation is generated by the violent dynamics of massive and compact astrophysical ...more »

Numerical relativity reveals possible violation of cosmic censorship in higher dimensions

Numerical simulations of Einstein’s equations of general relativity provided the first concrete evidence that the weak cosmic censorship conjecture can be violated in five-dimensional asymptotically flat spacetimes, where the simulations show that singularities can generically ...more »

John Barrow awarded RAS Gold Medal and Dirac Medal

The CTC is very proud to announce that one of its faculty members, Professor John Barrow, has been awarded two major honours for his work in cosmology. The first was the 2015 Dirac Medal, given annually by the Institute of Physics for “outstanding contributions to theoretical ...more »

Stephen Hawking delivers prestigious Reith Lecture

Stephen Hawking has given this year's Reith Lecture, an annual radio lecture broadcast by the BBC since 1948 in which a leading figure is invited to talk about significant issues of contemporary interest. Professor Hawking spoke of the history of scientific ...more »