2009 Renata Kallosh

Prof. Renata Kallosh is a leading theoretical physicist working in the fields of cosmology and string theory.
 
"For pioneering contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology which led to the construction of models of accelerated expansion of the universe in string theory."
 
Amongst her many groundbreaking contributions to the subject, in 2003 she (together with Sandip Trivedi, Andrei Linde, and Shamit Kachru) constructed the first models of accelerated expansion of the universe in string theory. This paper alone has more than a thousand citations in the Web of Science and has been a driving force in the field of string cosmology ever since.
 
Renata's career in physics started in the former USSR in the 70's. At that time, the significant new developments in gauge theories and supergravity took place in western Europe and in the USA. The USSR kept many scientists completely isolated. She was in the list of people who were not allowed to go abroad. This was a major hardship since it was very important to be part of a community discussing the new ideas. In addition, for a woman scientist it was not easy at that time to be treated on equal footing with men, women in general were not expected to succeed in science. The situation for her changed in 1978 when Stephen Hawking came to Moscow and invited her to Cambridge. He knew her earlier work on modified Feynman rules in supergravity, and was impressed by it. He made it known to the Russian academician Professor M. Markov who at that time was in charge of the relevant part of Academy of Sciences. He respected Hawking's opinion very much and was able to break the wall for her: starting 1979 she had access to the world of physics. In 1988 she left Russia and spent two years at CERN, after Gorbachev opened the doors.
 
From 1990 both she and her husband Andrei Linde became Professors of Physics at Stanford University.

Abstract of talk "Fundamental Physics, Cosmology and LHC"

We will discuss the developments in theoretical physics during the last decade influenced by the cosmological observations, in particular, by the discovery of the dark energy. This includes the landscape of string theory vacua, the scale of supersymmetry breaking and the Early Universe inflation. In generic string theory inspired models of inflation the maximal value of the Hubble constant during inflation cannot exceed the present value of the gravitino mass. This leads to a tension which may develop if the primordial gravitational waves from inflation will be detected, signifying the high-scale inflation, and if LHC discovers the low-scale supersymmetry.

Published: Tue 14 Jan 2014. Modified: Thu 16 Jan 2014