Bret Underwood

Chair of Physics


Bret Underwood

Office Location: Rieke Science Center - 255

Curriculum Vitae: View my CV

  • Professional
  • Biography
  • Video

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Professor of Physics


  • 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

  • University of Vienna, Cosmological Chaos, Complexity, and the OTOC, Vienna, Austria (October 2020)
  • de-Sitter Constructions in String Theory Workshop, Constraints on dS from Higher Dimensions, Institut de Physique Theorique, CEA Saclay, Paris, France (December 2019)
  • 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)

Selected Articles

  • A. Bhattacharyya, S. Das, S. S. Haque and B. Underwood. "Rise of cosmological complexity: Saturation of growth and chaos." Physical Review Research 2 Vol. 3, 2020:
  • A. Bhattacharyya, S. Das, S. Shajidul Haque and B. Underwood. "Cosmological Complexity." Physical Review D 101 Vol. 10, 2020:
  • S. Das, S. S. Haque and B. Underwood. "Constraints and Horizons for de Sitter with Extra Dimensions." Physical Review D 100 Vol. 4, 2019:
  • D.J. Burger, N. Moynihan, S. Das, S. Shajidul Haque and B. Underwood. "Towards the Raychaudhuri Equation Beyond General Relativity." Physical Review D98 Vol. 2, 2018:
  • 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.


  • 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 a 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