Nick Koukoufilippas

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Nick Koukoufilippas

Graduate Research Student

In cosmology, we try to make sense of the universe as a whole. We often use the most distant light that is reaching us to extract cosmological information. This is challenging because, on its way to us, that light is distorted by all sorts of stuff, such as galaxies, hot gas etc.

If we pin down the nature of these distortions we can reverse their effect and actually look back in time at the afterglow of the Big Bang.
I work on exactly this: quantifying the distortions and using the results to find out cool things about physics and our universe.

Drawing of ancient light being distorted on the way to us.

I work on improving large-scale structure constraints using secondary anisotropies of the CMB.

Modern-day cosmology is limited by our limited understanding of the physics of gas and baryons, particularly in small scales. Cross correlating secondary CMB anisotropies (tSZ, kSZ, lensing) allows us to constrain these astrophysical systematics and probe fundamental physics using cosmological data.

See this link for the presentation of a talk I gave in COSMO'19, on 5 Sep. 2019.

I demonstrate in the 3rd-year Astrophysics labs.

I am funded by an STFC studentship, so the least I can do is tell the taxpayers why what I do is important.

My outreach includes:

  • Telescope evenings: Oxford Astrophysics organises "telescope evenings", where schools visit us to learn about astronomy and observe from our observatory. I participate in these activities to engage students and spark their interest in astronomy.
  • Stargazing Live: Oxford Astrophysics organises an annual outreach event targeted at families, where parents with their children learn about the universe through public talks, activities, exhibitions, and hands-on science.
  • British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad (BAAO): Oxford Astrophysics co-organises the BAAO. Successful students compete in the International Olympiad (IOAA). I teach the British IOAA team topics in astronomy in a crash course to boost their potential in preparation for the IOAA. In 2019 I was an observer with the British team in the 13th IOAA, in Hungary, where the team returned with 1 gold, 3 silvers, and 1 bronze. In 2020 I co-led the British team in the 1st Global e-Competition on Astronomy and Astrophysics (the pandemic version of IOAA).