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Bharat Ratra

Professor of physics

Dr. Ratra

Bharat Ratra, professor of physics, works in the areas of cosmology and astroparticle physics. He researches the structure and evolution of the universe. Two of his current principal interests are developing models for the large-scale matter and radiation distributions in the universe and testing these models by comparing predictions to observational data.

In 1988, Ratra and Jim Peebles proposed the first dynamical dark energy model. Dark energy is the leading candidate for the mechanism that is responsible for causing cosmological expansion to accelerate. The discovery that cosmological expansion is accelerating is one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the last quarter of a century.

Ratra currently advises three graduate students. He has mentored five graduate students, four postdoctoral fellows and two visiting faculty members in the past. Ratra's research has appeared in more than 80 scholarly publications, which have been cited more than 8,500 times in scientific literature. In the last three years he has given more than 50 invited presentations at conferences, workshops, national laboratories, academic institutions and public settings around the world.

Ratra has received more than $7 million in individual and collaborative grants, largely from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Ratra was a National Science Foundation CAREER award winner in 1999. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002 and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. He received the 2012-2013 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award at Kansas State University.

Ratra is a founding member of the North Central Kansas Astronomical Society and of the Kansas State University Center for the Understanding of Origins. He also is actively involved in various other science outreach efforts, including the Department of Energy QuarkNet program for Kansas high school science teachers, as well as outreach efforts with various Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 elementary, middle and high school science teachers.

Ratra joined Kansas State University in 1996 as an assistant professor of physics. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ratra earned a doctorate in physics from Stanford University and a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.

Ratra can be contacted at 785-532-6265 or ratra@phys.ksu.edu.