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Justin Khoury

My research interests lie at the interface of particle physics and cosmology. A central theme of my research program is the possibility that the dark sector includes new light degrees of freedom that couple not only to dark matter but also to baryonic matter. Part of my research efforts over the last few years have focused on the development of screening mechanisms, such as chameleon and symmetron, to explain why such scalars, if light, have escaped detection from laboratory/solar system tests of gravity. The manifestation of these scalar fields therefore depends sensitively on their environment, which in turn leads to striking experimental signatures.  Another central theme of my research program is the development of novel theories of the very early universe that can address the traditional problems of standard big bang cosmology and generate density perturbations consistent with observations. Part of my research efforts focus on alternatives to the inflationary paradigm,such as the Ekpyrotic Universe, in which the seeds of structure formation are generated in a long phase of slow contraction before the big bang.