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Community Profile: Ruth Durrer

Name: Ruth Durrer

Current position: Faculty

Affiliation: Department of Theoretical physics, Geneva University

Field of research: Cosmology : Large scale structure, weak lensing, CMB, cosmic magnetic fields, GW background, phase transitions in the early Universe


What is your career trajectory to date?

I did my undergraduate & graduate studies in Zürich. After this, in 1988, we moved to Cambridge as a postdoc (with 2 little children). After that we went to Princeton (with 3 little ones). Since 1995 I am full professor at Geneva University.

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

Can we test General Relativity with cosmological observations?

What do you like and dislike about being a scientist?

I love discussions with my fellow scientists and, especially with my students. I love to sit down and do a calculation which helps me understand a topic. I hate grant application an evaluations and all other admin business.

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

I was very excited when I realised that measuring galaxy correlations on large scale actually does not only contain information about the density field but also about our background lightcone and hence about the spacetime geometry.

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

I look forward to see that we can do with the Rubin Observatory LSST and with Euclid, especially the photometric survey.

What is the biggest obstacle that is slowing down your research field right now?

Bias : How complicated is the relation between the matter distribution and the galaxy distribution in the Universe ?

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

I hope it brings us all closer together as a community.

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

I like to hang out with friends and chat with a glass of nice wine.

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

I would be a farmer.

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

We will hopefully solve at least one of the 'dark' questions : what is Dark matter ? or what is Dark energy ?

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