Sunny Vagnozzi

Research Associate
Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Institute of Astronomy
Contact number: 
01223 766695
Contact email address:
Year Joined Homerton: 

My research interests lie broadly at the intersection of cosmology, astrophysics, and particle physics. I work at the interface of data analysis, theory, phenomenology, and experiments. My goal is to identify, through precision cosmological and astrophysical data, those models which best describe our Universe, to constrain their parameters and define goals for future experiments, and likewise to construct viable data-driven theoretical models. This back-and-forth interplay between existing data, future experiments, and theory, represents my main research strength.

Data-wise my primary focus is on Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB, the oldest light reaching us from the early Universe) and large-scale structure (LSS) data. In particular, I explore how combinations and/or cross-correlations between CMB and LSS can fully exploit the synergy between these two types of robes. I am a member of the Simons Observatory collaboration, which will provide exquisitely accurate maps of the CMB sky from the Atacama Desert. I have recently begun exploring new windows onto fundamental physics, including future gravitational wave experiments, as well as images of black hole shadows.

A significant part of my fundamental physics interests have been directed towards neutrino cosmology, in particular for extracting information on neutrino masses and their mass ordeting from cosmological data in a statistically robust way, and reducing systematics which might limit our understanding of neutrino properties (such as systematics related to galaxy bias). Other aspects of fundamental physics I have worked on from the data side include (but are not limited to) inflationary models, dark energy, extra dimensions, interactions between dark matter and dark energy, unified dark sector models, axions, modifications to General Relativity, and possible observable manifestations of string theory such as the string axiverse, AdS vacua (i.e. a negative cosmological constant), and astrophysical violations of the Kerr bound (as occurring with “superspinars”).

Theory-wise my focus is on models of dark matter (DM), dark energy (DE), and cosmic inflation. My main interests in these directions have been related to constructing alternative models for the dark components of our Universe which address some of the most important shortcomings of the standard LCDM paradigm (featuring a collisionless cold DM component and a DE component in the form of a cosmological constant), while also predicting signatures of such models in cosmological and astrophysical observables, as well as DM experiments. Examples include models with strong DM self-interactions, interactions between DM and DE, or modifications to Einstein's General Relativity.

I joined the University of Cambridge in October 2019 as a Newton-Kavli Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmology (KICC) and the Institute of Astronomy (IoA). Prior to that, in 2019 I earned my PhD in Theoretical Physics within the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics (OKC) at Stockholm University, where my advisor was Prof. Katherine Freese. Previously, I received my BSc in Physics (2012) from the University of Trento, and my MSc in Physics with Distinction (2014) from the University of Melbourne. I have also been an Erasmus Fellow (2012-2013) at Imperial College London and a long-term research visitor (2014-2015) within the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) at the University of Copenhagen. I am originally from Italy.

Research Interests: 

Cosmology, Astrophysics, Particle Physics, Early Universe, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, Neutrinos, Cosmic Microwave Background, Large-Scale Structure, Gravitational Waves, Black Holes

  • PhD in Theoretical Physics, Stockholm University (2019)
  • MSc in Physics, University of Melbourne (2014)
  • BSc in Physics, University of Trento (2012)
  • Violin Diploma (equivalent to BA), Santa Cecilia Conservatory, Rome (2009)
  • Pio Picchi Prize, awarded by the Italian Physical Society to talented young researchers
  • Newton-Kavli Fellowship, University of Cambridge
  • Dean's Honours List, University of Melbourne

Member of the Italian Physical Society