Centre for Theoretical Cosmology News

CTC professor wins prestigious award

The CTC's Maciej Dunajski has won first prize in the Gravity Foundation's annual awards for essays. The prize has been won in the past by CTC founder Stephen Hawking and by several physicists who went on to win the Nobel prize, including Professor Hawking's collaborator Roger Penrose.

The title of Professor Dunajski's essay was "Equivalence principle, de-Sitter space, and cosmological twistors." A full PDF of the essay can be downloaded here:


Abstract: I discuss the impact of the positive cosmological constant on the interplay between the equivalence principle in general relativity, and the rules of quantum mechanics. At the non-relativistic level there is an ambiguity in the definition of a phase of a wave function measured by inertial and accelerating observes. This is the cosmological analogue of the Penrose effect, which can also be seen as a non-relativistic limit of the Unruh effect. The symmetries of the associated Schrödinger equation are generated by the Newton-Hooke algebra, which arises from a non-relativistic limit of a cosmological twistor space.

The official announcement of the award can be found here:


Professor Dunajski has been at Cambridge for 20 years and his research interests include twistor theory, integrable systems, solitons, and differential geometry. He is also the author of the recent book Geometry: A Very Short Introduction.


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech