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Image of a dark sky filled with various sized stars

Global Scholar workshops are essential to broadening my view and furthering my career.

Bill Coish
CIFAR Global Scholar Alumni and Assistant Professor, McGill University

Cosmology & Gravity

Neutron stars. Event horizons. Quasars. Dark energy. The language of cosmology is compelling and provocative, a step beyond our familiar world.

CIFAR’s Cosmology & Gravity program encompasses everything from massive galaxy clusters to neutrinos and quarks that are so small they seem to teeter on the brink of non-existence.


The program attempts to tell a comprehensive story of the structure and evolution of the entire Universe, from its first moment of existence to its ultimate fate.

In just over two decades, CIFAR researchers have vastly improved our understanding of the history and composition of our universe. Program members are an accomplished group of astronomers, cosmologists and astrophysicists from Canadian, American and European institutions.

The team has particular strength in physical cosmology, the study of the structure and evolution of the cosmos. It also brings together computational astrophysicists, string theorists and high-energy and particle astrophysicists who collaborate strongly with each other to tackle the central questions of the program.

Although deliberately broad in scope, the program has given the study of dark energy and the early universe high priority, drawing on the talents of some of the world’s most highly-regarded astronomers and cosmologists.

It has also expanded to incorporate theoretical efforts focusing on string theories and other models of quantum gravity, as well as high-energy and particle astrophysics. The astrophysical studies involve observational efforts to explore extraordinary compact objects known as neutron stars and black holes, and the development of computer-intensive calculations to understand the effects of gravity in these extreme cosmic environments.

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DIRECTOR

J. Richard Bond

Image of J Richard Bond

Dr. Bond has played a leading role in the Canadian cosmology community over the past two decades. His research contributions have been recognized on numerous occasions and he has been the recipient of many honours and awards.

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NEW PORTRAIT OF THE EARLY UNIVERSE

Image of early universe

An international team of astronomers including CIFAR Cosmologists unveil results from the Planck Space Telescope, launched in 2009 to search for evidence of the early Universe. Since then, the satellite has gathered data on the cosmic microwave background (CMB)—radiation left over from the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

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