Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Assistant Professor
Phone Number: 
Contact Email: 
Support Staff: 

How did the universe begin?

Professor Senatore is a theoretical physicist working to try to understand how the universe began and evolved to its present form. While this is a very interesting and fundamental question per se, from the understanding of how the universe evolved in the first few moments we can infer more about the laws of physics at the smallest distances and highest energies. Cosmological observations are providing us with a huge amount of data, which allows us to test our theories about inflation, eternal inflation and its alternatives, and about the growth of structures in our universe, to an unprecedented level. Senatore tries to bridge the gap between the speculative ideas about the early universe and their possible confirmation in the data.

Current areas of focus:
- Effective field theory of inflation
- Primordial non-Gaussianities
- Effective field theory of cosmological large scale structures
- Eternal inflation and quantum effects in inflation
- Analysis of cosmological data


Leonardo Senatore began a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics (PPA) at SLAC, with primary appointment in Physics, in September, 2010.

As an undergraduate in Italy, Senatore completed three years of a program in Aerospace Engineering at the Scuola Superiore S. Anna of Pisa, before switching to Physics and receiving his Laurea in Theoretical Physics from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa in 2003. Senatore received his PhD from MIT in April 2006, and then was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.


2015 New Horizons in Physics Prize from the Fundamental Physics Prize foundation

2012 DOE Early Career Award  

2010 Terman Award