I work on a variety of topics related to gravitational waves, black holes and early universe cosmology.
For centuries, astronomers have been exploring the universe with telescopes that detect electromagnetic waves (disturbances in the electromagnetic field that move at the speed of light). Much more recently, physicists have been developing new types of telescopes to detect *gravitational* waves (disturbances in the gravitational field that also move at the speed of light). Gravitational wave astronomy is lagging behind electromagnetic astronomy by several centuries because gravitational waves are so hard to detect! On the bright side, this means that the age of great discovery in gravitational wave astronomy is still ahead of us: in fact, there are reasons to expect that it will begin with the first direct detection of gravitational waves later in this decade. Gravitational waves will open a new window on the cosmos -- a window that looks out on strange and unfamiliar scenery (violent processes in the very early universe, black holes swallowing neutron stars, and other phenomena that we probably won't even imagine until they surprise us by turning up in our detectors). Much of my work has to do with understanding how gravitational waves may be used to learn about the universe (especially the very early universe), and thinking about the best designs for future gravitational wave telescopes.