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Gravity Foundation prize

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Ivan Agullo, a postdoc of Abhay Ashtekar, has won the first prize of the 2011 Gravity Foundation, for a paper entitled "Stimulated Creation of Quanta during Inflation and the Observable Universe" written jointly with Leonard Parker (Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

Previous winners include Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Martin Bojowald, and Abhay Ashtekar. In this article the authors show how the quantum mechanism of stimulated creation of particles (basis of the theory of LASER) applied to the early Universe is able to make the characteristics of the state of the universe at very early times to be imprinted in the details of the Cosmic Microwave Background and in the galaxy distributions. The next generation of surveys of the Cosmic Microwave Background and Large Scale Structure will then allow us to learn about the state of the universe that existed at the time when Quantum Field Theory first emerged as a plausible effective theory, and in turn may give valuable information about a more comprehensive theory of Quantum Gravity governing the behavior of the Universe at very high densities.