Leonard E Parker

Center for Gravitation, Cosmology & Astrophysics

UWM Logo
Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics

Follow us on:



Make a Gift

Thank you for considering a gift to the Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics. Your gift of any size makes a difference. Make a Gift Online.

Get Involved

There are many ways to participate in the life of the Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics. Please get involved, learn more about our fascinating Universe, and meet our members. Get involved!


The Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics is supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, UW-Milwaukee College of Letters and Science, and UW-Milwaukee Graduate School. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.

UWM researchers win prestigious Gravitation Award

Posted by Sara Gil-Casanova on May 20, 2011

UWM Professor Leonard Parker and former Research Associate Iván Agulló have received the prestigious First Award in the Gravity Essay competition from the Gravity Research Foundation (GRF).

The winning essay is "Stimulated Creation of Quanta during Inflation and the Observable Universe". The work, developed while Agulló was at UWM, describes how the generation of primordial inhomogeneities during inflation can be understood via the spontaneous and stimulated creation of particles from the vacuum. The study of these inhomogeneities in the cosmic microwave background can tell us about the state of the universe at the onset of inflation, when quantum field theory in curved spacetime first emerges as a plausible effective theory.

The GRF Essay Competition First Awards have been obtained by renowned scientists in the field such as Bryce DeWitt (1953), Stephen Hawking (1971), Roger Penrose (1975), Abhay Ashtekar (1977) and George Smoot (1993). It is not the first time that UWM Center for Gravitation and Cosmology researchers receive this prestigious Award. In 1990 Professor Bruce Allen was also awarded the 1st Prize.

Leonard Parker is a Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a founding member of the UWM Center for Gravitation and Cosmology. In the 1960s he was the first to use quantum field theory to show that the gravitational field of the expanding universe creates elementary particles from the vacuum. In 1984, based on this work, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Parker (with co-author D. J. Toms) has recently released the book "Quantum Field Theory in Curved Spacetime" published by Cambridge University Press.

Iván Agulló is currently a Research Associate at Penn State University, where he works with Abhay Ashtekar. Previously he was a postdoc at the Center for Gravitation and Cosmology, where he worked with Leonard Parker. He received his PhD at the University of Valencia (Spain) and he is the first Spanish physicist to receive the GRF Essay Competition First Award.

More information at the Gravity Research Foundation

UWM Center for Gravitation and Cosmology | |