Joel Primack

I am working on the formation and evolution of galaxies and the nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the matter in the universe. After working on particle physics and writing papers that helped to create the Standard Model, I began working in cosmology in the late 1970s.  With Heinz Pagels, I was the first to propose that a natural candidate for the dark matter is the lightest supersymmetric particle.  I am one of the principal originators and developers of the theory of Cold Dark Matter, which has become the basis for the standard modern picture of structure formation in the universe.  I am currently using supercomputers to simulate and visualize the evolution of the universe and the formation of galaxies under various assumptions, and comparing the predictions of these theories to the latest observational data. I am now the director of the University of California High-Performance Astro-Cpomuter Center.  I am also working on the nature of dark matter, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and on high energy gamma ray cosmology.  I will continue to work on these projects and am enthusiastic about the prospect of collaborating with philosophers on issues in philosophy of cosmology.  Some of these issues are discussed in two popular books I co-authored with Nancy Ellen Abrams—The View from the Center of the Universe (Penguin/Riverhead, 2006) and The New Universe and the Human Future (Yale University Press, 2011). 

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