Through art and science in their broadest senses it is possible to make a permanent contribution towards the improvement and enrichment of human life and it is these pursuits that we students are engaged in.

Frederick Sanger



inflationary cosmology

(718) 997-3388, SB B320
B.A., Biomedical Engineering, The College of New Jersey, 2007
Ph.D, Physics, The University of Delaware, 2014
ASTR 1 - General Astronomy
PHYS 121.4 - General Physics I
I teach astronomy, general physics, and cosmology at Queens College. I also work with undergraduate and graduate students to study the properties of the early universe. For more information about my teaching and research, please visit my website.

I am the Director of the Astronomy Program and the Director of Undergraduate Research at Queens College.

Information about astronomy at Queens College can also found on my website.

Information about undergraduate research at Queens College can be found at the homepage of the Office of Undergraduate Research
My research specialty is inflationary cosmology. Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole–in particular, it is the study of the evolution and composition of the universe. On the right of this page we show the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR), which is a picture of the baby universe. This is a real picture of the cosmic microwave background radiation from all directions in the universe, color coded to depict deviations from average temperature.  The temperature fluctuations are about 1 part in 100,000, indicating that the universe on large scales is highly homogeneous and isotropic.This consists of light that originates from about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, which is just after the period of recombination—a short period during the early universe when electrons were first able to bond to protons. The CMBR, therefore, is a picture of the universe when it was 380,000 years old. This background radiation was predicted years before it was discovered by accident, and it looks nearly the same from all directions. Like clues scattered throughout a forest, it permeates the universe. In fact, a famous computation in cosmology shows that there are about 400 of these light particles per cubic centimeter. The CMBR has given us a wealth of information, and we compare our scientific models to data collected from it.

In our research group, we study the very early universe; in particular, we study what was happening at about 10-32 second after the Big Bang. At around this time, most cosmologists think that the universe was expanding approximately exponentially. This is the cosmic inflation hypothesis, and it was proposed in the early 1980s to explain several surprising observations about the universe. We study this hypothesis, and particularly how this process may have happened and its cosmological predictions.

I have worked on exploring the consequences of supersymmetry to models of cosmic inflation, and particularly on how the constraints of Grand Unified Theories affect the predictive power of inflationary models. Since coming to Queens College, I have worked with undergraduate students on non-supersymmetric inflationary model-building projects. Our recent research concerns how to apply novel numerical techniques to cosmic inflation, focusing on simple and popular models. Through these projects, students learn the essentials of inflationary cosmology and various numerical techniques. 

For more information about our research, please visit the homepage of our research group.

Civiletti, M., & Delacruz, B. (2020). Natural inflation with natural number of e-foldings. Physical Review D, 101(4), 043534.
Civiletti, M., Pallis, C., & Shafi, Q. (2014). Upper bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio in GUT scale supersymmetric hybrid inflation. Physics Letters B, 733, 276-282
Civiletti, M., Rehman, M.U., Sabo, E., Shafi,Q., & Wickman, J.(2013). R-symmetry breaking in supersymmetric hybrid inflation. Physical Review D, 88(10), 103514
Civiletti, M., Rehman, M.U., Shafi, Q., & Wickman, J.(2011). Red spectral tilt and observable gravity waves in shifted hybrid inflation. Physical Review D, 84(10), 103505