Grant N. Remmen

Hertz Fellow: Grant N. Remmen

California Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Theoretical Physics

Fellowship Years

2012 - 2017

Grant Remmen received his PhD at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, as a Hertz Fellow and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He is currently a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, conducting research at thenexus of quantum field theory, quantum gravity, general relativity, cosmology, and particle physics.

At Caltech, Grant worked on problems ranging from the Weak Gravity Conjecture and bounding quantum corrections to Einstein's equations, to reformulations of graviton perturbation theory, to problems involving making statistical predictions for cosmology from various models of inflation, to probing and constraining conjectures for emergent spacetime, gravity, and holography. His thesis advisors were Professor Clifford Cheung and Professor Sean Carroll. Grant served as a physics representative on the Caltech Graduate Student Council Board of Directors and Academics Committee. As a graduate student, Grant was honored with Caltech’s John Stager Stemple Memorial Prize in Physics for his research contributions. In 2016, Grant was selected to be a delegate for the United States at the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

As an undergraduate, Grant made contributions across several diverse areas of physics and astrophysics, including relativistic orbital dynamics, with Professor Kinwah Wu, Mullard Space Science Lab, University College London, and Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopy of Eta Carinae, with Professor Kris Davidson, University of Minnesota. For his work on Galactic dark matter, Grant received the Chambliss Medal for exemplary student research from the American Astronomical Society in 2011. A U.S. Presidential Scholar and Goldwater Scholar, Grant graduated summa cum laude with high distinction as a triple major in physics, astrophysics, and mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 2012.

Grant was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Growing up, he was always fascinated with physics for its ability to explain the most extreme phenomena of the Universe, from the powerful gravitation of black holes to unraveling the details of the Big Bang. Grant is passionate about his research, which allows him to investigate solutions to the most important and fundamental problems in theoretical physics, with applications to astrophysics and cosmology: dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity, black holes, etc. In his career in academic research, he also aims to serve as an ambassador for science among America’s civic leaders and the public, while mentoring the next generation of scientists, and hopes that his work will kindle awareness and interest in the physical sciences.

Outside of physics, Grant is an enthusiastic musician and, with his brother Cole, wrote and composed Boldly Go!, a two-act musical parody ofStar Trekthat premiered as Caltech’s mainstage production in 2016. In his youth, he was also an avid aficionado of words and spelling, competing three times in the National Spelling Bee on ESPN.


2017 - Defining Gravity: Effective Field Theory, Entanglement, and Cosmology