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Sarah Shandera

Professor of Physics


Ph.D. Cornell University (2006)
B.S. University of Arizona (2001)

Research Interests

I study the dynamical laws and matter content that determine the evolution of the universe, especially at the earliest times and highest energies. I am currently interested in how recent advances in quantum systems, quantum information, and out-of-equilbrum systems may point the way toward resolving outstanding questions in gravity and cosmology. My current projects focus mostly on open quantum systems, and on dissipative dark matter and black holes.


Gravitational Physics & Cosmology

  • Theoretical

Particles & Fields

  • Theoretical

Honors and Awards

  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Fundamental Physics Innovation Convening Award (2020)
  • C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching (2019)
  • Visiting Fellow, Perimeter Institute (January 1, 2016 - present)
  • Emmy Noether Visting Fellow, Perimeter Institute (August 2015 - December 2015)
  • Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award (2005)

Selected Publications

  1. Prudhoe, S., Kumar, R., and Shandera, S., Spontaneously interacting qubits from Gauss-Bonnet, JHEP 02 (2024) 007.
  2. The LIGO Scientific, VIRGO and KAGRA Collaborations, and Jeong, D. and Shandera, S., Search for subsolar-mass black hole binaries in the second part of Advanced LIGO's and Advanced Virgo's third observing run, MNRAS  (2023) 10.1093/mnras/stad588.
  3. Akhouri, U., Shandera, S., and Yesmurzayeva, G., Increasing extractable work in small qubit landscapes, Entropy 2023, 25(6), 947.
  4. Shandera, S., Jeong, D. and Gebhardt, H.S.G, Gravitational waves from binary mergers of subsolar mass dark black holesPhys. Rev. Lett. 120 (2018) no.24, 241102.
  5. Shandera, S., Agarwal, N., and Kamal, A., Open quantum cosmological systemPhys. Rev. D. 98 (2018) no. 98, 083535.
  6. Abazajian, K.N., Adshead, P., Ahmed, Z., Allen, S., Alonso, D., et al. CMB-S4 Science Book, 2016. 
  7. Nelson, E. and Shandera, S. Statistical Naturalness and non-Gaussianity in a Finite UniversePhys. Rev. Lett., 110 (2013), no.13, 131301.
  8. Burgess, C., Holman, R., Leblond, L., and Shandera, S. Super-Hubble de Sitter Fluctuations and the dynamical RGJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2010(03), 033. 
  9. LoVerde, M., Miller, A., Shandera, S., and Verde, L. Effects of scale-dependent non-Gaussianity on cosmological structuresJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2008, no. 04 (2008): 014.
  10. Becker, M., Leblond, L., Shandera, S. Inflation from wrapped branesPhys. Rev. D 76, 123516 (2007).


  • Courtney L. Shaffer