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About

From the Director

In 2020, the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign supported the creation of an intellectual home for interdisciplinary research aimed at addressing fundamental physics questions related to the universe. This research sits at the intersection of mathematics, computer science, astronomy and physics disciplines, such as nuclear physics, high energy physics, gravitation and cosmology. The ICASU is primarily an effort in theory and computation, but it is special in that all such work is driven by potential verification through experiment and observation. As such, the ICASU collaborates closely with experimental scientists in condensed matter and nuclear experiment, as well as with astrophysical observers in gravitational waves, particle astrophysics and traditional electromagnetic observations.

“The ICASU is an inclusive institute that seeks to advance our understanding in all areas of fundamental physics related to the cosmos. We invite you to learn more about the institute and to get involved in this unique exploration of our mysterious universe.”

Nicolas Yunes, Founding Director

On the ground, ICASU hosts Illinois’ research in relativity and in cosmology, supported through NSF and NASA-sponsored programs, in nuclear and in high-energy theory, supported through NSF and DOE-sponsored programs. The ICASU collaborates closely with other institutes and centers on campus, such as the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Center for Astrophysical Surveys, the iSchool, and the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory. Through workshops and summer schools, the ICASU acts as a foci of theoretical ideas that brings members of these different centers and institutes together to work on topics related to the fundamental physics of the universe.

The ICASU is an inclusive institute that seeks to advance our understanding in all areas of fundamental physics related to the cosmos. We invite you to learn more about the institute and to get involved in this unique exploration of our mysterious universe.

Governing Body

The ICASU is governed by an executive committee that consists of leaders in the four pillars of science that the ICASU aims to bring together (nuclear physics, high energy physics, relativity, and cosmology), as well as an external member from the College of Liberal Arts and Science. Currently, the composition of the executive committee is as follows:

  • Professor Nicolas Yunes, Founding Director
  • Assoc Professor Jorge Noronha, Associate Director
  • Professor Aida X El-Khadra (high energy physics)
  • Professor Doug Beck (nuclear physics)
  • Professor Charles Gammie (relativity and astrophysics)
  • Professor Gil Holder (cosmology)
  • Professor Brian Fields (external LAS member)

The ICASU is governed by a set of By Laws that were passed in the Fall 2019. An External Advisory Board composed of scientific leaders advises the governing body on topics including science, growth, and inclusiveness.