Bela Abolfathi

Bela Abolfathi


Ph.D., Physics & Astronomy, UCI, 2020 expected
MS, Physics & Astronomy, UCI, 2016
BA, Physics, Reed College, 2011


Observational cosmology and dark energy.


Bela Abolfathi is a graduate student in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCI working with Dr. David Kirkby. She is interested in studying dark energy and its influence on the expansion history of the universe. Her work focuses on using different cosmological probes to understand the dynamical behavior of dark energy and its effect on the evolution of large scale structure. She is currently involved in two upcoming projects (DESI and LSST) that will map the universe in three dimensions.

Why is science communication important to you personally?

Language is a huge barrier to understanding and appreciating science. Even as a student of physics, I still find it difficult to grasp certain concepts because I don’t have the background to translate them into terms I can relate to. But the beauty and excitement of scientific discoveries should not be limited to those who study them professionally. I think engaging in science communication is important because it helps people both inside and outside the scientific community realize the relevance of scientific innovation in their own lives. As a researcher, it also helps me understand the broader impacts of my own work.