Raúl Jiménez is a theoretical astrophysicist working in cosmology and an ICREA Research Professor in physical cosmology at the University of Barcelona. His main line of research has been to use astronomical observations to understand the laws of nature. Most of his research concerns the early universe and the evolution of galaxies.
The past 20 years have seen enormous progress in our understanding of the universe. Cosmology, which was previously theory driven, is now observationally driven. The ongoing avalanche of data, with ever more ambitious surveys being carried out, has provided us with a precise phenomenological picture of how our universe began and evolved. We have a standard model of cosmology that works exquisitely well, but the field must now take a qualitative step. To do so, we must take a multidisciplinary approach, with expertise encompassing but going beyond the field of cosmology to include statistics, big data, theoretical physics, and astrophysics.
Jiménez obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, both in theoretical physics, and his PhD from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. After a PPARC Advanced Fellowship at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, he joined the faculties of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. He returned to Europe in 2008. He has received numerous awards from the European Union, and his research has been featured in such international media outlets as the BBC, the Economist, and the New York Times.