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Barak Shoshany is a PhD student in the quantum gravity group at Perimeter Institute, under the supervision of faculty member Laurent Freidel. He graduated from the Perimeter Scholars International program with an MSc in theoretical physics. Before coming to Perimeter Institute he obtained a BSc in mathematics & physics from Tel Aviv University (Israel) and did summer internships at Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) and CERN (Switzerland).

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly how to quantize gravity, the universe will instantly disappear and be replaced by a universe in which quantizing gravity is even harder. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." (Paraphrased from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" by Douglas Adams.)

Barak's research involves one of the oldest and hardest unsolved problems in physics: the quest for a theory of quantum gravity, which is the unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity. Finding the correct theory of quantum gravity is crucial for a full understanding of many of the most fundamental concepts in physics such as black holes, the origin of the universe, and spacetime itself.

Specifically, Barak is currently working on one of the most promising candidates for a theory of quantum gravity, called loop quantum gravity. He is particularly interested in studying various aspects of the discrete quantum geometry of spacetime predicted by the theory.

In addition to research, Barak is also interested in science communication and outreach, in particular debunking myths and misconceptions.

- "The Geometry of Spacetime in Loop Quantum Gravity", Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute (Israel), April 2018.
- "Interpreting the Geometry of a Quantum State of Spacetime", PI Day, Perimeter Institute (Canada), March 2018.
- "Loop Gravity and Piecewise-Flat Geometry", Quantum Gravity Day, Perimeter Institute (Canada), November 2017.

- "Thinking Quantum": Lectures on Quantum Theory for High-School Students. Lectures given for ISSYP in July 2017. These lectures present quantum theory in the case of a finite Hilbert space with full mathematical detail at a level suitable for high school students, plus a conceptual overview of some advanced topics including quantum field theory and quantum gravity.

- Research project supervisor, PSI Winter School, January 2018. Project: "Can the running of Newton's constant in the asymptotic safety approach to quantum gravity save spacetime?".
- Mentor and tutor, ISSYP, July 2015, July 2016, July 2017, July 2018.
- Teaching assistant, PSI Quantum Field Theory 2, November 2015, November 2017.
- Teaching assistant, PSI String Theory, February 2016, February 2017.
- Teaching assistant, PSI Explorations in Cosmology, April 2016.

- Barak regularly participates in "Ask a Scientist" events at Perimeter Institute in conjunction with monthly public lectures, which usually take place on the first Wednesday of every month.
- Barak has answered more than 1000 math and physics questions on the popular Q&A website Quora, and was selected as "Top Writer" for both 2015 and 2016.
- Barak sometimes participates in videos (1 2) and articles (1) created at Perimeter Institute for promotional and/or outreach purposes.

Further outreach activities Barak has participated in include:

- Keynote talk to Canadian and international physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2018.
- "Researcher Speed Dating", PI researchers explaining their work in a few minutes to physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2015, July 2016, July 2017, July 2018.
- Q&A with Canadian physics teachers, Teacher Network Initiative, December 2017.
- Open Doors Day at PI, September 2016, September 2017.
- Q&A with physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2016.
- Q&A on cosmology with high school students, May 2015.
- Lecture on fractals and chaos theory at Huron Heights high school in Kitchener, October 2014.

- Superduperstring Theory: Introduction
- Superduperstring Theory: What is Duper Symmetry?
- Superduperstring Theory: Fundamental Equations
- The Spin Latte Formulation of Quantum Gravity (with Matthew VonHippel)
- The E = ER = EPR = EPRL Conjecture

- Listen to Barak's musical compositions on SoundCloud.
- Follow Barak's public posts on Facebook.
- Read Barak's answers to physics & math questions on Quora.
- Watch Barak's videos on YouTube.
- To download Barak's old notes for Tel Aviv University courses (in Hebrew only), please click here.
- For Barak's D&D campaign, please click here.

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