Bret Underwood

Associate Professor of Physics

Bret Underwood
Rieke Science Center - Room 249
Mon - Fri:
By Appointment
  • Professional
  • Personal
  • Video


  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
  • M.A., Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006
  • B.S. Magna Cum Laude, Physics, The Ohio State University, 2003

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Cosmology
  • Particle Physics
  • String Theory

Selected Presentations

  • Pacific Lutheran University, String Cosmology: Connecting the Physics of the Very-Big and the Very-Small, Tacoma, WA (March 2011)
  • University of Winnipeg, String Cosmology: Connecting the Physics of the Very-Big and the Very-Small, Winnipeg, Canada (March 2011)
  • Seminar, Perimeter Institute, A Breathing Mode for Warped Compactifications, Waterloo, Canada (March 2011)
  • String Vacuum Project, A Breathing Mode for Warped Compactifications, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (November 2010)
  • Seminar, SPOCK Workshop, A Dynamical Landscape, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (April 2010)

Selected Articles

  • Haque, S.S. and underwood, B. "Consistent Cosmic Bubble Embeddings." Physical Review D Vol. 95, 2017:
  • Cownden, B., Frey, A., Marsh, D., Underwood, B. "Dimensional reduction for D3-brane moduli." Journal of High Energy Physics Vol. 139, 2016:
  • B. Underwood and Y. Zhai. "Moving Phones Tick Slower: Creating an Android App to Demonstrate Time Dilation." The Physics Teacher Vol. 54, 2016: 277.
  • J. Karouby, B. Underwood, A. Vincent. "Preheating with the Brakes On: The Effects of a Speed Limit." Physical Review Vol. 84, 2011:
  • B. Underwood. "A Breathing Mode for Warped Compactifications." Classical and Quantum Gravity Vol. 28, 2011:
  • P. Franche, R. Gwyn, B. Underwood and A. Wissanji. "Initial Conditions for Non-Canonical Inflation." Physical Review Vol. 82, 2010:
  • P. Franche, R. Gwyn, B. Underwood and A. Wissanji. "Attractive Lagrangians for Non-Canonical Inflation." Physical Review Vol. 81, 2010:
  • S. Horibe and B. Underwood. "Making connections to the ‘real world’: a model building lesson." Physics Education Vol. 44, 2009: 633-638.


  • Institute for Particle Physics (IPP) Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2011
  • McGill Lorne Trottier Fellowship, 2008-2010
  • Lesson Study Curriculum Development Grant, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 2007
  • “Exceptional Service” TA award (Campus-wide) at UW-Madison, 2007


I am currently an Associate Professor of Physics at Pacific Lutheran University. My research interests are in the intersection of high energy physics and cosmology. From 2008-2011 I was a postdoctoral researcher in Theoretical High Energy Physics and Cosmology at McGill University. While there, I was a McGill Lorne Trottier and Institute of Particle Physics (IPP) Postdoctoral Fellow.

I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Physics at The Ohio State University in 2003, completing a senior research project entitled “Renormalization of the n-dimensional Delta function potential” under the direction of Professor Robert Perry.

In 2003 I began my graduate study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Masters of Arts in Physics in 2005 and a Ph.D. in 2008 as a student of Gary Shiu. My Ph.D. thesis, entitled “Warped String Phenomenology: Topics in Cosmology and Particle Physics”, focused on the interesting phenomenological and cosmological implications of warped extra dimensions, which commonly appear in string theory models.


Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Bret Underwood