2013 Rayleigh Medal and Prize

Professor Edmund Copeland, University of Nottingham. For his work on particle/string cosmology from the evolution of cosmic superstrings, to the determination of the nature of Inflation in string cosmology and to constraining dynamical models of dark energy and modified gravity.

Copeland has made pivotal contributions to the field of particle cosmology. He leads the quest to obtain successful particle physics-inspired models of inflation, to predict the properties of cosmic strings, and to determine the nature of dark energy.

Copeland works at the junction between fundamental physics and cosmological observation. He has made contributions in three areas: inflationary models, cosmic strings and superstrings, and dark energy phenomenology. Copeland's work spurred the resurgence of interest cosmic strings as a signature of superstring theory. In particular, he observed that superstring theories often contain multiple kinds of string, as well as junctions between them, and so lead to distinctive network properties and signatures. If cosmic strings are discovered, this idea will be influential in determining their microscopic nature.

Copeland also has a large body of work on the construction of inflationary models, using dynamical ingredients motivated by string theory. His early work on two-field models of inflation has been highly influential, in addition to many other significant works.