Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Watson, Scott

Second Advisor

Samson, Scott D


Computational Physics, Cosmology, Dark Energy, Effective Field Theory, Scientific Computing, Theoretical Physics

Subject Categories

Other Physics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


Effective Field Theories (EFTs) provide a unique framework in which to attempt to answer outstanding questions in cosmology (and all field of physics, for that matter). This work investigates how the use of both EFTs and computational tools can help us to advance our knowledge of how the universe evolved and formed over time. Specifically, we review the successful EFT of Inflation, the EFT of Dark Energy (EFTDE), and introduce the EFT of Reheating as a generalized model of particle formation after inflation. In this way, we show how effective EFTs are at quantifying physical phenomenology at many different energy scales. Additionally, we review some useful codes and numerical algorithms and apply them to the question of post-inflationary resonance and late-time cosmic acceleration. In the case of the latter, we use real data to constrain EFTDE theory, offering a map -- the first of its kind -- from EFT parameters to standard cosmological parameters.


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