Martin White

Professor
Physics and Astronomy
astro.berkeley.edu/~mwhite

Research Interests

I am a theorist and phenomenologist. While I originally trained in Particle Physics, in the last few years my interest has centered around the question of the formation of structure in the universe. How did it originate, what were the forces responsible for making it what it is today and what can it teach us about the universe? I am particularly interested in using cosmology to learn about the nature of the dark energy believed to be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate and in the formation and evolution of galaxies and large-scale structure.

Current Projects

Cosmology has made breathtaking progress in the last decade. Our theoretical structure, starting with quantum fluctuations in the early universe, continuing with general relativistic dynamics and ending with free-fall of radiation and matter, is one of the most beautiful and complete in the entire field of physics. For the first time we have an apparently complete cosmic census of the major components of the energy density of the universe, but we know almost nothing about most of the matter and most of the energy in our list!

While cosmologists have grown used to the idea that the early universe is intimately connected to high-energy physics, recently a combination of several different types of experiments has led us to believe that the bulk of the energy in the universe today may reside in a type of matter which defies classical understanding. My research is currently focussed on finding probes of this dark energy which are experimentally and observationally testable in the near future, and developing the tools necessary to interpret the next generation of experiments aimed at constraining our cosmological world model. On a parallel track I am very interested in the formation and evolution of the largest galaxies.

Selected Publications

W. Hu, M. White, “The cosmic symphony”, Scientific American, Feb 2004, p. 44

M.White, L.Hernquist, V.Springel, “Simulating the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect(s): including radiative cooling and energy injection by galactic winds”, ApJ 579(2002)16, astro-ph/0205437.

M.White, C.Kochanek, “Completeness in photometric and spectroscopic searches for clusters” , ApJ 574(2002)24, astro-ph/0110307.

M.White , “Baryons and weak lensing power spectra”, Astroparticle Physics 22(2004)211, astro-ph/0405593.

M.White, “Baryon oscillations”, Astroparticle Physics 24(2005)334, astro-ph/0507307.

M.White, Z.Zheng, M.Brown, A.Dey, B.Jannuzi, “Evidence for merging or disruption of red galaxies from the evolution of their clustering”, ApJ 655(2007)L69, astro-ph/0611901.