Experimental gravity and cosmology use frontier observational facilities to investigate fundamental physics in extreme astrophysical systems and the composition, history, and evolution of the Universe. Electromagnetic radiation, cosmic rays, and high-energy neutrinos have traditionally been used to learn about the Universe. More recently, the Advanced LIGO and Virgo observatories have established gravitational waves as an entirely new observational probe, offering an unprecedented look into strong-field gravity, cosmology, and dense nuclear matter. Experimental cosmology aims as well to explain the fundamental constituents of the Universe, including direct experimental detection of dark matter (representing 85% of the matter in the Universe). By combining observations obtained by electromagnetic, gravitational, and astroparticle methods, we stand to greatly amplify these insights in this new era of multi-messenger astrophysics.
The Experimental Gravity and Cosmology Group at the UCR Department of Physics has active research programs in gravitational-wave detection, dark matter detection, and the development of enabling detector technologies for the next generation of cosmological and gravitational-wave observatories. It is represented by Professors Barry Barish, Jonathan Richardson, Shawn Westerdale and Steve Choi.