Wynton Moore is a PhD candidate in theoretical physics at the University of Chicago, where he is studying two dimensional (one space plus one time) models of quantum gravity, and what implications they could have for theories of our four dimensional universe.
The early universe is believed to have undergone a phase of exponential growth, known as inflation. Without inflation, the observed Cosmic Microwave Background radiation could not be so isotropic. In the era of inflation, the universe was extremely compact and hot, a scenario in which the quantization of gravity is expected to be important. Unfortunately, quantum gravity has proved a notoriously difficult subject, and a consistent “non-perturbative” formulation has not been found. Together with Professor Emil Martinec, Wynton is studying inflation in a two-dimensional universe, where quantum gravity is known to simplify and certain computations are possible.
Earlier in his PhD Wynton studied Mathieu Moonshine, a topic which draws remarkable connections between string theory and pure mathematics. He remains interested in this subject, particularly the associated mathematics of mock modular forms.
Wynton is from Dunedin, New Zealand, where he received an Honours degree in physics from the University of Otago. Before coming to the US, he did further research on theoretical frameworks for computer simulation of ultra-cold fermion gases. Outside his studies, Wynton plays the bagpipes and has been a long-time member of bagpipe bands in New Zealand and Chicago. In 2010 he travelled with the Auckland and District Pipe Band to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland, and the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France.