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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Dr Timothy Clifton


Reader in Relativity and Cosmology

Telephone: 020 7882 7024
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 508


I'm a theoretical cosmologist who builds mathematical models of the Universe, in order to understand what cosmological observations can tell us about relativistic gravity and the large-scale structure of space-time.

I graduated with a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2006, and have worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University as a Lindemann Fellow, at the University of Oxford as a Junior Research Fellow of Jesus College, and at CERN as a CERN Fellow. I joined Queen Mary in 2012 as a Advanced Fellow of the STFC research council, and am now a Reader in the Astronomy Unit of the School of Physics and Astronomy. I am a long standing member of the Gravitational Physics Group at the Institute of Physics, and am a member of the editorial board of Classical and Quantum Gravity. I am also the admissions tutor for PhD programmes in astronomy at Queen Mary.


I lecture modules on Quantum Mechanics A and Relativity & Gravitation, and supervise projects in relativity and cosmology.

In the past I have taught Quantum Mechanics, Electromagnetism and Special Relativity at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford.


Research Interests:

My research interests are in relativity, gravitation, and cosmology. I am particularly interested in the large-scale behaviour of inhomogeneous spacetimes, the emergence of homogeneity and isotropy in the context of the averaging and backreaction problems, the construction of tests for determining the geometry of the Universe, and the understanding and constraining of alternative theories of gravity. As well as being of foundational importance to cosmology, the study of these areas is strongly motivated by the apparent need for the universe to be more than two thirds filled with dark energy.


Recent publication and preprints can be found here.


This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.

Project Title
Frontiers of Precision Cosmology
Foundations of relativistic cosmology



I am supported by the STFC.

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