With the aim of promoting promising early-career researchers and fostering engagement between with Members of Parliament, this annual event focuses on the presentation and discussion of groundbreaking UK-based research. A highlight of British Science Week, the competition attracts over 500 entrants, of whom approximately one third are selected to present their work at Parliament.
Damián’s research was conducted in collaboration with Dr Dionysios Anninos, University Research Fellow of the Royal Society and Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the Department of Mathematics. His presentation on the subject of ‘Quantum emergence of expanding spacetimes’ focuses on his current research efforts to build a novel theoretical framework to study quantum features in a de Sitter spacetime – which is a universe expanding at an accelerating pace. The consequences of this modern approach are just starting to be uncovered.
On the inspiration underpinning his research in collaboration with Dionysios and motivation towards the field, Damián commented:
One striking fact about our universe is that even though gravity is attractive, we live in a universe that is expanding at an accelerated rate, pushing us away from everything else. Understanding this apparent puzzle is extremely inspiring for me, mainly for two reasons. On one hand, it is an observation we see in the sky and we do not understand from a theoretical perspective. On the other, its solution might be intimately related to one of the most fundamental questions one can think of: what is spacetime?–
Damián is a member of the Theoretical Physics group in King’s Department of Mathematics, whose goal is focused on discovering the consistent unified fundamental laws of nature. The group’s work is centered on supersymmetry and string theory, and includes studies on a range of subjects including the quantum properties of black holes, the symmetries underlying a fundamental theory of strings and branes, the properties of de Sitter spacetime and the quest to find exact quantities in relativistic quantum field theories.
On winning the award, Damián further elaborated;
I am honoured to receive this award. I would like to thank both the judges and the organisers for setting up such an interesting event. I believe it is very important to have a space where scientists can share the beauty of what we do to the rest of the community. I would also like to thank the Theoretical Physics group in the Department of Mathematics for fostering a stimulating intellectual environment which enables my research to take place, and my collaborators in this project, D. Anninos and D. Hofman, for taking me into this journey of understanding the fundamental structure of space and time.–