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

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 »

CTC receives HPCwire Award at Supercomputing 2015 in Austin, Texas

The Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology (CTC) at the University of Cambridge has been recognized in the annual HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards, with the following honour:  • Readers' Choice: Best Use of High Performance Data Analytics ...more »

Cosmic Microwave Background offers new probes of the early universe

CTC scientists are refining our understanding of the formation of the early universe by analyzing the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) data captured by the Planck Satellite. The CMB is the relic radiation or “first light” to escape once the very hot temperature from the Big ...more »

Dr Juha Jäykkä at the 2015 International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt

New insights found in black hole collisions

New research provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe — the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole. An international team of astronomers, including from the University of Cambridge, have found solutions to ...more »

Merging black holes in NGC 6240

Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor for The Theory of Everything

Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne on winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his revelatory performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The honour goes alongside his awards for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the Baftas. ...more »

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking