Barak Shoshany

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"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 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).

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 simple terms, Barak is trying to understand what spacetime is made of, and what it looks like when you "zoom in all the way".

Barak is also studying exotic spacetime geometries which allow faster-than-light and/or back-in-time travel, such as wormholes and warp drives, which give rise to many interesting questions in the fundamentals of general relativity, and challenge our understanding of causality.

In addition to research, Barak is very enthusiastic about teaching, science communication and outreach. He has extensive experience in teaching mathematics and physics to students from diverse backgrounds, and regularly participates in outreach events at Perimeter Institute and elsewhere.

For more details, please see Barak's Curriculum Vitae.

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