SEAN CARROLL, a senior research associate at Caltech since 2006, received his Ph.D. in physics in 1993 from Harvard University, with a thesis entitled "Cosmological Consequences of Topological and Geometric Phenomena in Field Theories." He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Theoretical Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an assistant professor of physics at the University of Chicago. His research ranges over a number of topics in theoretical physics, including cosmology, field theory, particle physics, and gravitation. He is currently studying the nature of dark matter and dark energy; connections between cosmology, quantum gravity, and statistical mechanics; and the question of whether the early universe underwent a period of inflation.
Carroll has written a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, and recorded a course on dark matter and dark energy for The Teaching Company. He has received fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations. Among his honors are the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award and the Villanova University Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion. In 2007, he was named NSF Distinguished Lecturer by the National Science Foundation. He is cofounder and contributor to the Cosmic Variance blog.