Mr Will Handley

wh260's picture


Office: KAVLI K34
Office Tel: 46437
More Info (Internal)



Will Handley is a Theoretical Cosmologist, currently studying the very earliest moments of the universe as a PhD student with his supervisors Anthony Lasenby and Mike Hobson.

His main interest is in "Initial Conditions for Inflation", examining the effect that high energy physics has on the universe a split second after the Big Bang. In 2014, he proved that that the pre-inflationary universe takes an extremely generic form, independent of the type of particle which drives the early accelerated expansion of the universe.

In addition to theoretical investigation, he also examines the observational consequences of these new ideas; testing theories against the latest data from the Planck satellite using the University supercomputers.

Recently, his work has focussed on developing novel Bayesian algorithms for high-dimensional parameter estimation and model comparison using nested sampling. Possible applications currently under investigation include protein folding and compressed sensing, in addition to cosmological parameter estimation.

Will Handley is a member of the Planck Core HFI team.

Selected Publications


June 2015: PolyChord: next-generation nested sampling MNRAS arXiv:1506.00171 

Feb 2015: PolyChord: nested sampling for cosmology:  MNRAS arXiv:1502.01856

Feb 2015: Planck 2015 results: I overview of products and scientific results: arXiv:1502.01582

Feb 2015: Planck 2015 results: XX Constraints on Inflation: arXiv:1502.02114

Jan 2014: Kinetic Initial Conditions for Inflation:  PRD arXiv:1401.2253


June 2015: Bayesian Model selection without evidences: application to the dark energy equation of state  arXiv:1506.09024


2012-present: PhD in Physics (University of Cambridge)

2008-2012: MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics (University of Cambridge)

Awards and Prizes

  • December 2013: Best Presentation (Cavendish Graduate Students Conference)
  • 2011-2012: Best Theoretical final year project (University of Cambridge)


  • Supervisions: Part IA Mathematics for Natural Sciences (Michaelmas 2012-present)
  • Supervisions: Part II General Relativity (Michaelmas 2013-present)
  • Demonstrating: Part II Theoretical Physics 1 (Michaelmas 2012)
  • Demonstrating: Part II Theoretical Physics 2 (Lent 2013)
  • Tripos Examples Classes: Part IA Mathematics for Natural Sciences (Easter 2014)