Eva Silverstein

Stanford University
Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Eva Silverstein is a Professor of Physics at Stanford University.  She has played a leading role in connecting string theory to the theory of cosmic inflation, offering the possibility of experimental discrimination and improving our theoretical understanding of very early universe physics more broadly. She and her collaborators discovered axion monodromy, the first UV complete model of large-field inflation, and introduced Dirac-Born-Infeld (DBI) inflation, as well as introducing basic mechanisms for a metastable cosmological constant in string theory. Both inflation models predicted novel sky signals which have strongly influenced observational studies constraining early universe physics. Silverstein and others argued that massive particles, ubiquitous in UV-complete descriptions, flatten inflaton potentials, suggesting a broadly applicable explanation for this property inferred from observations. Her work with a variety of collaborators developed string and field theory more generally, resolving some classes of space-time singularities by analyzing certain `tachyon' instabilities in string theory, dynamically connecting different topologies and dimensionalities, and co-discovering orbifold field theories.


Last Updated