Community Profile: Panagiota Kanti

Name: Panagiota Kanti

Current position: Faculty

Affiliation: University of Ioannina

Field of research: Gravitational Physics and Cosmology


What is your career trajectory to date?

Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA, 1998-2000), at Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy, 2000-2001) and at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland, 2001-2003). Junior staff member (PPARC Advanced Fellow) at the University of Oxford (UK, 2003-2004) and subsequently Lecturer/Reader at the University of Durham (UK, 2004-2007). Associate Professor (2007-2016) and then Professor (2016 - ...) at the University of Ioannina, Greece.

What are the most exciting open questions in your research area?

Why gravity is so different from the other forces in nature? Can it be unified with them? Is General Relativity the final theory for gravity? What is the correct model for inflation? Do wormholes and particle-like gravitational solutions exist?

What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

I like, and at the same time dislike, the fact that we never stop coming up with new questions in our research!

Which of your skills are you most proud of, or find most useful?

The accuracy of my algebraic calculations, my persistence to complete all undertaken tasks in the best possible way and my ability to discover something new or positive even in a negative result.

In your career so far, at what point were you the most excited, and what were you excited about?

I got very excited with the prospect of the existence of extra dimensions, of the potential detection of miniature black holes at the LHC through its Hawking radiation and with the fact that the addition of the Gauss-Bonnet term to standard GR can lead to a proliferation of new black-hole solutions!

What new skills would you like to learn in the next year?

I would like to look a bit more carefully to the observable signatures of modified gravitational theories.

What advances or new results are you excited about or looking forward to?

Results from gravitational waves detection which would place bounds to modified gravitational theories or, best, reveal deviations from General Relativity.

What role do you think a community network like EuCAPT can play in developing theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology in Europe?

It can help in keeping people together, in constant communication through meetings and in enhancing the dissemination of scientific results.

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta and chicken!

Have you lived in a different European country than you do now? If so, would you like to tell us something about it, e.g. a fond memory or something you found surprising?

I lived in the UK for four years. Although a foreigner, I never really felt a stranger. And it always surprised me seeing how polite people were on the buses!

How do you like to relax after a hard day of work?

I always enjoy reading a good book in order to clear my mind.

Do you have any non-physics interests that you would like to share?

Any time not spent on physics is spent on my family!

If you were not a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

I think I would be either a school teacher or a librarian.

What do you hope to see accomplished scientifically in the next 50 years?

The formulation of the theory unifying all forces and the detection of a wormhole!