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Laura Mersini Houghton

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Nationality  Albanian American
Name  Laura Mersini-Houghton

Role  Cosmologist
Doctoral advisor  Leonard Parker
Laura Mersini-Houghton lifeboatcomboardlauramersinihoughtonjpg
Institutions  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Alma mater  Tirana University University of Maryland University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Education  University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Tirana
Similar People  Alexander Kashlinsky, Andrei Linde, Beatrix Campbell, Hugh Everett III, Max Tegmark

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Laura Mersini-Houghton (née Mersini) is an Albanian-American cosmologist and theoretical physicist, and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a proponent of the multiverse hypothesis, which holds that our universe is one of many. She argues that anomalies in the current structure of the universe are best explained as the gravitational tug exerted by other universes.

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Biography

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Laura Mersini was born in Tirane, Albania, Europe.

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Mersini-Houghton received her B.S. degree from the University of Tirana, Albania.

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In 1997, Mersini-Houghton was awarded her M.Sc. by the University of Maryland.

In 2000, Mersini-Houghton completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

From 2000 to 2002, after earning her doctorate, Mersini-Houghton was a postdoctoral fellow at the Italian Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

From 2002 to 2003, Mersini-Houghton had a postdoctoral fellowship at Syracuse University.

In January 2004, Mersini-Houghton accepted a position as assistant professor of theoretical physics and cosmology at University of North Carolina. She was granted tenure in 2008 and promotion to associate professor in 2009.

On 11 October 2010, Mersini-Houghton appeared in a BBC programme entitled What Happened Before the Big Bang (along with Michio Kaku, Neil Turok, Andrei Linde, Roger Penrose, Lee Smolin, and other physicists), where she propounded her theory of the universe as a wave function on the landscape multiverse. Mersini-Houghton's work on multiverse theory is discussed in the epilogue of a recently published biography of Hugh Everett III. See also a discussion of her ideas in the context of the history and philosophical implications of the idea of a multiverse here.

In September 2014, Mersini-Houghton claimed to demonstrate mathematically that, given certain assumptions about black hole firewalls, current theories of black hole formation are flawed. She claimed that Hawking radiation causes the star to shed mass at a rate such that it no longer has the density sufficient to create a black hole. Her paper on the subject was applauded by Cuban Revolutionary Fidel Castro in an article to Granma Newspaper.

Teaching

Professor Mersini-Houghton teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Quantum Mechanics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

References

Laura Mersini-Houghton Wikipedia


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