Hayley Macpherson

Hayley Macpherson

Position: Herchel Smith Fellow

Department: Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics

Keywords: Cosmology, general relativity, numerical relativity, simulations

I’m a cosmologist and a general relativist and I study the evolution of the entire Universe. I do computer simulations of how the large-scale structure of clusters of galaxies has evolved over billions of years.

Usually when people do these kinds of simulations, they use Newton’s theory of gravity. We know this theory is only an approximation to the real deal; Einstein’s theory of general relativity. I am interested in seeing if these simulations look any different if we include the full, correct theory of Einstein’s relativity instead.

I started doing these simulations during my PhD at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and moved to the UK to start my fellowship here at Cambridge at the end of 2019. During my time here, I’m interested in investigating the maths behind how light propagates through the Universe. In particular I am interested in how light is bent around massive objects when we consider Einstein’s general relativity, and whether this might introduce a bias on our cosmological observations.

Get in touch: h.macpherson [at] damtp.cam.ac.uk