Astrophysics, Cosmology, and Relativity Group

    Our group is concerned with theoretical problems in cosmology and general relativity. These involve analytical, numerical, and cosmological-data related projects. The group is instrumental in organizing the biennial Texas Symposia on Relativistic Astrophysics, beginning in Dallas in 1963 and recurring regularly all over the world since then.

    Our group has recently expanded significantly its areas of research and has research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students (for more information, contact Prof. Ishak-Boushaki at [email protected] or Prof. Rindler at [email protected])  
The areas of research of interest to the group include:
  • Gravitational lensing (lenses) and its applications to cosmology
  • The acceleration of the expansion of the universe: Cosmological constant, dark energy … etc
  • Cosmological exact solutions to Einstein's field equations (cosmological models of wider generality than the classical homogeneous models)
  • Constraining cosmological parameters and cosmological models using probes such as gravitational lensing, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), and supernova searches.
  • Recently proposed cosmological models based on space-times with dimensions D > 4 (“brane” cosmologies) and constraints on such models from current and future cosmological data.
  • Projects at the intersection of modern cosmology and general relativity
  • Computer algebra systems and symbolic programming applied to general relativity and cosmology
  • Junction conditions for matching space-times and constructing wormholes

Recent research projects included:
  • A procedure to distinguish between cosmic acceleration due to Dark Energy and cosmic acceleration due to a large extra dimension of space-time.
  • Theoretical studies on improving weak gravitational lensing techniques and their applications to cosmology
  • The topology of the big bang
  • The relation between local and cosmic curvature
  • Techniques for determining geodesics and geodesics precession rates in axisymmetric metrics
  • Extended studies of current and future constraints on dark energy parameters from cosmic complementarity (CMB+weak gravitational lensing+supernova data) and cosmic shear tomography.
  • An inverse approach to Einstein’s field equations
  • Studies using perfect fluid models in non-comoving null spherical (observational) coordinates
  • Stability of transparent spherically symmetric thin shells and wormholes with a cosmological constant
  • Development of an online interactive geometric database, including exact solutions of Einstein's field equations (with an interface to computer algebra systems)
  • Exact solutions of Einstein’s field equations with w-modes oscillations


Professor Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki
Professor Wolfgang Rindler

Other Faculty associated with the group

Professor Istvan Ozsvath (Math Dept.)
Dr. Paul MacAlevey
Professor Ivor Robinson (Emeritus)

    The predictions of general relativity are spectacularly manifested in nature as shown by the images below. 

Gravitational Lens: Galaxy Cluster 0024+1654
W. N. Colley (Princeton University), E. Turner (Princeton University),
J. A. Tyson (AT&T Bell Labs), and NASA

Map of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation From the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP):
First Year Results.
(WMAP is a NASA Explorer Mission.):


This site is still under construction. More to come in the near future.