Dr Ali Mozaffari

Theoretical Physicist


(Photo courtesy of Karolin Schwab)



CV (pdf) / papers (pdf) / inSPIRE



A little about me…


I’m a researcher in theoretical physics, currently at Imperial College London, where I completed my PhD and undergraduate studies.  





My work…


Currently I am interested in the physics of the early universe and modified gravity.  


For the amateurs:


The universe is made up of matter, as well as radiation (we see it as light but also microwaves, radiowaves etc).  If we look at all the visible matter we can see, it appears the universe is moving too quickly, there’s too much gravitational force for the amount of matter we see.


The way out of this missing mass problem is known as Dark Matter. 


For the experts:


The conventional ΛCDM model posits that the universe is made up of luminous matter as well as cold, dark matter that interacts gravitationally and a cosmological constant (playing the role of dark energy) that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.  This model along with General Relativity (GR) forms the backbone of the standard model of cosmology. 


However ΛCDM has some unresolved issues, most notably the lack of a direct detection of a candidate dark matter particle and the mysterious nature of dark energy.  Perhaps it is prudent to consider alternatives or at least show how decent or poor such ideas can be - one route to this is modifying gravitational dynamics themselves, moving beyond GR to theories with (perhaps many) extra degrees of freedom. 


During my PhD, I worked on the theoretical case for using the forthcoming LISA Pathfinder mission to test modified gravity theories with a preferred acceleration scale in the Solar System.  Such a test would be special because of the potential to test gravity in a new regime, potentially constrain our current theories as well as provide glimpses towards other ideas in gravity and cosmology.  The provisional launch date of 2015 means things are moving very quickly towards this idea…


I am also interested in ideas relating to Lorentz violation, particularly in the gravity sector where current constraints are not well understood.  The knock on effects on early universe observables should be particularly interesting.  


So to are ideas involving biometric theories of gravity, breaking free of minimal coupling of matter and gravity, the potential for a matter and gravity metric and the relationship between them can appear in the guise of DSR, Born-Eddington Inspired gravity and many other models, the effects on cosmological perturbation theory and other ideas however remains to be seen. 








My other activities…


I’m currently an associate lecturer for the Open University


I’m a STEMNET ambassador, working with schools on outreach and educational projects


I have worked as a tutor on the Imperial Horizons programme, working with students on the Global Challenges strand during the 2013-14 academic year


I’m a private tutor in mathematics and physics for students 11-18 as well as those looking for preparation towards university, fully DBS checked


I’m a public speaker, on topics of my research as well as science and outreach in general, notably as an invited speaker at European AstroFest 2014





Get in touch…



(SPAM is a pain eh?)


Theoretical Physics Group, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, SW7 2AZ