India (Fulbright S&T grantee 2010)
Tejaswi Venumadhav Nerella is a doctoral candidate in Physics at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech). As an International Fulbright Science & Technology Fellow, he conducts research on the formation of the earliest clusters of matter in the universe.
Around 380,000 years after the big bang, the universe cooled enough so that neutral hydrogen atoms could survive without being broken apart by cosmic radiation. After this, tiny density variations seeded the formation of clumps of matter which ultimately led to the first galaxies. Tejaswi studies how some non-linear effects influenced the way these lumps of matter formed, and how they would leave signatures in present day observations.
In a broader sense, Tejaswi’s goal is to learn more about the early universe – where extreme (and since un-replicated) conditions provide a test bed where known Physics is stretched to its limits and beyond.
A native of India, Tejaswi completed his undergraduate degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. His childhood fascination with Physics in general and Astrophysics in particular led Tejaswi to pursue an undergraduate research project at Caltech. He found the atmosphere and history of the department exhilarating and has returned to complete his Ph.D. Apart from trying to find Physics everywhere, Tejaswi enjoys reading, sketching, cricket, tennis, and movies from the classic era.