Barak Shoshany

Barak Shoshany's picture

Area of Research:
Email: bshoshany@perimeterinstitute.ca

My research in simple terms: I use math to try to understand what spacetime is made of, and what it looks like when you zoom in all the way.

"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."

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).

Research Interests

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 true 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 and elegant candidates for a theory of quantum gravity, called loop quantum gravity. He is particularly interested in studying various aspects of the discrete structure of spacetime predicted by the theory, including its geometry and dynamics.

In addition to research, Barak is also interested in science communication and outreach, in particular debunking myths and misconceptions. He regularly participates in outreach activities at Perimeter Institute, and in the past has answered many math and physics questions on Quora.

Seminars

Lecture Notes

Teaching and Mentoring

  • Teaching assistant, PSI Quantum Field Theory 2, November 2017.
  • Mentor and tutor, ISSYP, July 2017.
  • Teaching assistant, PSI String Theory, February 2017.
  • Mentor and tutor, ISSYP, July 2016.
  • Teaching assistant, PSI Explorations in Cosmology, April 2016.
  • Teaching assistant, PSI String Theory, February 2016.
  • Teaching assistant, PSI Quantum Field Theory 2, November 2015.
  • Mentor and tutor, ISSYP, July 2015.

Outreach Activities

  • 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.
  • He sometimes participates in various Perimeter Institute promotional videos.
  • 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.

Further outreach activities Barak has participated in include:

  • Q&A with Canadian physics teachers, Teacher Network Initiative, December 2017.
  • Open Doors Day at PI, September 2017.
  • "Researcher Speed Dating", PI researchers explaining their research to physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2017.
  • Open Doors Day at PI, September 2016.
  • "Researcher Speed Dating", PI researchers explaining their research to physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2016.
  • Q&A with Canadian and international physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2016.
  • "Researcher Speed Dating", PI researchers explaining their research to physics teachers, EinsteinPlus workshop, July 2015.
  • 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.

Physics Parodies with Jacob Barnett (on Facebook)

Other Links

  • Follow Barak's public posts on Facebook.
  • 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.