Working from the standard model of the "Big Bang" some 14 billion years ago, we are investigating the early epoch of inflation and the nature and role of dark matter in the evolution of structure in the Universe. We also seek to understand the nature and properties of the "dark energy" that is speeding up the expansion of the Universe.

The Early Universe

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A representation of the evolution of the universe over 13.77 billion years.

The Universe evolved from a fully-ionized plasma to an almost neutral state in which molecules could form and the first stars were created. We are engaged in studies of the atomic and molecular processes that took place and were crucial to the formation of structure.


The Highly Deuterated Chemistry of the Early Universe, C. D. Gay, P. C. Stancil, S. Lepp, and A. Dalgarno, Ap. J. 737 (2011) 44.

Recombination of H-2 by Raman association in the early universe, A. Dalgarno and Mark van der Loo, Ap. J. Lett. 646 (2006) L91-4.