Nicolas Yunes

Nicolas Yunes
Nicolas Yunes

Primary Research Area

  • Astrophysics / Relativity / Cosmology
Professor
249 Loomis Laboratory

For more information

Education

  • Ph. D. in Physics, The Pennsylvania State University, 2008.
  • Bachelors of Science in Physics, Washington University in Saint Louis, 2003.

Biography

Professor Nico Yunes, a native of Argentina, received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in Saint Louis in 2003, and his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008. After a Research Associate position at Princeton University and an Einstein Fellowship at MIT and Harvard, he joined the faculty at Montana State University (2011-2019) and then accepted a faculty position at the University of Illinois in 2019. He is also the founding director of the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe.

Professor Yunes is a theoretical physicist that specializes in general relativity and gravitation. He has an international reputation for his work on tests of General Relativity with gravitational waves, universal relations in neutron stars, and black holes in theories beyond Einstein's. He is one of the creators of the parameterized post-Einsteinian framework to test Einstein's theory in a model-independent way with gravitational waves. Professor Yunes is also one of the discoverers of the the I-Love-Q and the Binary Love universal relations of neutron stars, which are used by the LIGO scientific collaboration to infer the equation of state of matter at extreme densities.

Research Statement

Professor Yunes and his research group study extreme gravity, from the physics of binary pulsars to the gravitational waves emitted in the coalescence of black holes and neutron stars. Observations in the extreme gravity regime may provide hints toward the resolution of outstanding problems in fundamental physics, such as those associated with dark matter, dark energy, the physics of the early universe and quantum gravity. His group uses analytical and semi-analytical techniques rooted in perturbation theory and multiple scale analysis to predict the signatures that potential solutions to these problems would have on observables. His group then uses frequentists and Bayesian data analysis techniques to search for these signatures and constrain their existence in data, thus informing model building in high-energy theory, cosmology and nuclear theory.

Selected Articles in Journals

Recent Courses Taught

  • PHYS 101 - College Physics: Mech & Heat
  • PHYS 515 (ASTR 515) - General Relativity I
  • PHYS 516 (ASTR 516) - General Relativity II
  • PHYS 598 GR3 - General Relativity-CB