Serena Giardino

PhD student in the Lise Meitner Research Group “Gravitational Theory and Cosmology”

What is your current position at our institute?

I am a first year PhD student in the Lise Meitner Research Group “Gravitational Theory and Cosmology”.

How and when did you choose to do physics?

I have always been curious about the big questions related to the universe, but until my last year of high school I was sure I would go on to study philosophy, as I was strongly interested in the humanities. However, the fascination with space and the challenge I saw in science prompted me to choose Astronomy and then Theoretical Physics.

What is your academic education?

  • BSc in Astronomy, University of Bologna
  • Erasmus+ student, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • MSc in Theoretical Physics, University of Bologna

Please let us know why you chose the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics for your research.

I wanted to study questions related to gravity and the Institute provides an ideal research environment, where such fundamental issues are being addressed from many different perspectives and with various approaches.

Can you please describe your research?

The research of my group deals with the fundamental questions of the origin of the universe and its evolution, while challenging the existing paradigms in cosmology. For example, replacing the Big Bang with a bounce can solve some long-standing theoretical problems and additionally allow for a cyclic evolution of the universe, which would make us rethink the currently accepted framework. One of the most exciting aspects is that the technology to obtain high-precision cosmological data is available today, which means we have the chance to experimentally test competing models and progress towards an unprecedented understanding of these issues.

Read more about Serena's research at

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