Dr. Emory (Ted) F. Bunn
Associate Professor of Physics
Chair, Department of Physics

My work is in the field of cosmology, the study of the structure, origin, and evolution of the universe on the very largest scales. My students and I analyze and interpret measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which is a relic of a time when the universe was only half a million years old (20,000 times younger than today).  Maps of this radiation allow us to test models that attempt to explain how galaxies formed, as well as theories about what the universe was like a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

Our ability to test these theories depends on continuing to develop new telescopes.  I am currently working on the design of new instruments, particularly the QUBIC telescope, which takes a radical new approach to the problem of accurately measuring the extremely faint cosmic microwave background polarization.

I also do some theoretical work on Einstein's theory of general relativity.  John Baez and I published an article on "The Meaning of Einstein's Equation," which provides a novel and (we hope) more comprehensible explanation of the key equation of the theory.  David Hogg and I wrote another article explaining the meaning of the cosmological redshift (the most important observation in cosmology).

Grants and Fellowships
National Science Foundation award: “RUI: Preparing for the era of cosmic microwave background polarimetry,”  $187,000 (2009-2013)
National Science Foundation award: “MRI: Acquisition of a computing cluster for astrophysics and nuclear physics research at the University of Richmond,” $161,912 (2009-2012)
National Science Foundation award: “Collaborative research: Simulation of systematic effects in interferometry for studies of the cosmic microwave background," $800,000 (2009-2012)
Professional Experience
St. Cloud State University, Physics and Astronomy Department, Assistant Professor (1999-2002)
Bates College, Physics and Astronomy Department, Assistant Professor (1996-1999)
U.C. Berkeley: Postdoctoral Researcher (1995-1996)

M. Piat et al., “QUBIC: the Q and U Bolometric Interferometer for Cosmology,” Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 167, 872 (2012)

H. Zheng and E.F. Bunn, “Cosmic microwave background constraints on cosmological models with large-scale isotropy breaking,” Physical Review D 82, 063533 (2010).
R. Charlassier, E.F. Bunn, J.-Ch. Hamilton, J. Kaplan, and S. Malu, “Bandwidth in bolometric interferometry,” Astronomy & Astrophysics 514, A37 (2010).
E.F. Bunn, “Evolution and the second law of thermodynamics,” American Journal of Physics, 77, 922 (2009).
E.F. Bunn and D.W. Hogg, “The kinematic origin of the cosmological redshift,” American Journal of Physics, 77, 688 (2009).
P. Hyland, B. Follin, and E.F. Bunn, “Phase shift sequences for an adding interferometer,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 393, 531 (2009).
E.F. Bunn and A. Bourdon, “Contamination cannot explain the lack of large-scale power in the cosmic microwave background radiation,” Physical Review D, 78, 123509 (2008).

Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley
Contact Information
(804) 287-6486
(804) 484-1542 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Big Bang cosmology (theory and data analysis)