Self-introduction: Ryo Namba
Pursuit of the fundamental law that governs the evolution of our universe, is the end goal of cosmology. Our universe is known to be expanding. It is not only expanding, but has been, and perhaps will be, expanding. The driving force of the current accelerated expansion, often called dark energy, is still beyond our understanding, despite that the fate of the universe entirely depends on the nature of dark energy. Furthermore, cosmological observations provide indications that an accelerated expansion also took place at the earliest stage of our universe, known as inflation, and that the seeds of all the structures we observe today were encoded during this period. Thus the physics in the inflationary era is of essential importance, fixing the initial conditions of our universe. The forthcoming advancement of multi-messenger (photons, neutrinos, and gravitational wave), multi-frequency observations opens up the possibility of probing such cosmological signals in novel manners.
My research focus is encapsulated in the studies of interactions at cosmological scales, ranging from the highest-energy processes at the onset of the universe to the laws of gravity at the largest distances, by making use of the knowledge of quantum field theory, elementary particle physics and gravitational theory as technical tools. Interactions in cosmology are inevitably those in a gravitating system, and they reserve a large domain of unresolved mysteries that provide a fascinating ground to explore. Understanding the physics in both ends of these extremes is necessary to reveal the origin and fate of our universe. Many different branches of physics are involved in this research adventure, and extending the border of scientific disciplines is of essential importance.
[Brief academic history] I received my Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (USA), and continued my research activities as a postdoctoral researcher at Kavli IPMU (Japan), McGill University (Canada), and Tsung-Dao Lee Institute (China), before joining RIKEN iTHEMS in May 2021. I have worked on research projects on particle production in the early universe, thermalization process (reheating), modified gravity theories (scalar-vector-tensor theories, massive/bimetric gravity), etc.