Oliver Zahn


Oliver Zahn is a computational/theoretical astrophysicist and the Executive Director of BCCP. He originally came to Berkeley as inaugural Center Fellow after undergraduate work at Max-Planck-Insitute for Astrophysics and NYU, as well as doctoral work at Harvard and Heidelberg. Trained as a multipurpose cosmologist, his research program tries to advance the understanding of the origin and evolution of structure in the Universe by applying a variety of analytical and numerical methods to complementary astrophysical observables. He frequently connects data to theory through massively parallel simulations of cosmological structure formation. Zahn also analyses terabyte surveys of the Cosmic Microwave Background, Galaxies, and Galaxy clusters to generate insights into the workings of the cosmos. His team was the first to discover an effect called gravitational lensing (bending of light rays by gravity) in the Cosmic Microwave Background, and he has proposed novel methods for studying the first galaxies, Big Bang, and dark energy/gravity theory, acting as drivers for new generations of microwave, radio, and sub-mm telescopes that are now scanning the skies.