Andreas Albrecht

Headshot of Andreas Albrecht

Distinguished Professor
Office: 3005 Physical Sciences & Engineering Library
Phone: +1 (530) 754-9269
Fax: +1 (530) 752-4717

Personal Professional Website:

Research Interests:

Andreas Albrecht is a leading theoretical cosmologist. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 where, with Paul Steinhardt, he wrote one of the original papers on “new” or “slow roll” inflation. Slow roll inflation has since become the dominant phenomenological theory of the early universe and has passed numerous observational tests with flying colors. Deep puzzles remain regarding the theoretical underpinnings of cosmic inflation and Albrecht is a leading figure in this research area. He is an expert on the subtle relationship between theories of the early universe and the thermodynamic arrow of time. Albrecht's work in the 1990's on observational signatures allowed modern data to rule out a broad category of “active” theories of cosmic structure in favor of the “passive” category (to which inflation belongs).

The discovery of cosmic acceleration (celebrated by the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and often referred to as “the dark energy”) has been transformative to the field of cosmology. Albrecht is known for his pioneering work on dark energy theory and phenomenology, including key contributions on the Dark Energy Task force and related work to determine the best future probes of cosmic acceleration.

Albrecht moved from a Professorship at Imperial College to UC Davis in 1998 to build the cosmology program there. He served as Physics Department Chair at UC Davis from 2011 to 2016. He is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics. His ongoing research program embraces a wide range of challenges posed by our search for a deeper understanding of the universe.

Career History

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1983
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Texas, Austin, 1983-198
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1985-1987
  • Associate Scientist, Fermilab, 1987-1992
  • Lecturer, Imperial College, 1992-1995
  • Reader, Imperial College, 1995-1998
  • Professor, Imperial College, 1998
  • Professor, University of California, Davis, 1998-Present
  • Chair, Dept. of Physics, University of California, Davis, 2011-2016


  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK)
  • Herbert A. Young Society Dean