Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow in the Observational Cosmology Lab at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Visiting Scholar 2011-2014

Hosted by Prof. Ed Bertschinger, Department of Physics


Chanda Prescod-Weinstein hails from East Los Angeles and was a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow in the Observational Cosmology Lab at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

She earned her bachelors in Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics at Harvard College, a Masters of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a PhD at the University of Waterloo and Perimeter Institute.

Dr. Prescod-Weinstein’s research interests include studying quantum fields in curved spaces for the purposes of cosmological calculations, novel relativistic and field theoretic dark matter models and predictions, and quantum gravity formalism and phenomenology.

As a three-year MLK Visiting Scholar, she continued her research on exploring models from particle physics and quantum gravity for cosmic acceleration, as well as her investigations of the systematics associated with using a space telescope to do weak lensing for precision cosmology. She also worked with Prof. Bertschinger to develop a Boston-area peer-mentoring network for women of color in science and engineering. Dr. Prescod-Weinstein enjoys mentoring and is an active member in the National Society of Black Physicists, the National Society of Hispanic Physicists, and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).




Cosmic Acceleration As Quantum Gravity Phenomenology

Prescod-Weinstein, Chanda Rosalyn Sojourner
Subject Keywords: physics, cosmology, quantum gravity, astrophysics, astronomy, Physics
Date: 2010-09-22 (submitted on: 2010)


The discovery of cosmic acceleration has prompted the need for a new understanding of cosmology. The presence of this acceleration is often described as the dark energy problem or the Lambda problem.The simplest explanation is that the acceleration is due to addition of a cosmological constant to Einstein's equation, but this resolution is unsatisfactory as it leaves several unanswered questions. Although General Relativity has been tested in the strong-field limit, the apparent dark energy may be urging us to consider experimental cosmology as such a test for large scales. In this vein, I have pursued a study of modifications to Einstein's gravity as well as possible related quantum gravity phenomenology. Not only must the details of modified gravities be worked out, but their impact on other astrophysics must be checked. For example, structure formation provides a strong test of any cosmic acceleration model because a successful dark energy model must not inhibit the development of observed large-scale structures. Traditional approaches to studies of structure formation in the presence of dark energy or a modified gravity implement the Press & Schechter formalism. I explore the potential for universality in the Press & Schechter formalism and what dark matter haloes may be able to tell us about cosmology.
Program: Physics
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy