David I. Kaiser

Professor of Physics
Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science
Associate Dean for Social and Ethical Responsibilities of Computing
Research focuses on early-universe cosmology, foundations of quantum theory, and history of modern physics.
(617) 452-3173
Office: E51-179
Assistant: Judy Spitzer
Assistant Phone: (617) 253-4044

Research Interests

Early-Universe Cosmology ; High-Energy Theory ; History of Science

Biographical Sketch

David Kaiser is Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and Professor of Physics at MIT. He is the author of several award-winning books on the history of modern physics, including Drawing Theories Apart: The Dispersion of Feynman Diagrams in Postwar Physics (2005) and How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival (2011). His latest book is Quantum Legacies: Dispatches from an Uncertain World (2020). Kaiser co-directs a research group on early-universe cosmology with Alan Guth in MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics, and has also designed and helped to conduct novel experimental tests of quantum theory. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Kaiser has received MIT’s highest awards for excellence in teaching. His work has been featured in Science, Nature, the New York Times, and the New Yorker magazine. His group’s efforts to conduct a “Cosmic Bell” test of quantum entanglement were featured in a documentary film, “Einstein’s Quantum Riddle,” which premiered on US Public Television stations in 2019.

More info:

A conversation with David Kaiser, Physicist and Historian of Science at MIT
Courtesy of ICE at Dartmouth | YouTube

Awards & Honors

  • 2016 // George Sarton Memorial Lecturer, History of Science Society
  • 2013 // History of Science Society, Davis Prize for best book aimed at a general audience
  • 2012 // Physics World Magazine "Book of the Year" Award
  • 2012 // MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellow Teaching Award
  • 2012 // MIT Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising
  • 2010 // American Physical Society Fellow
  • 2007 // History of Science Society Pfizer Award for best book in the field
  • 2006 // Harald E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, MIT
  • 2001 // MIT Levitan Prize in the Humanities
  • 1993 // Leroy Apker Award, American Physical Society

Key Publications

  • R. Nguyen, J. van de Vis, E. I. Sfakianakis, J. T. Giblin, Jr., and D. I. Kaiser, “Nonlinear dynamics of Preheating after Multifield Inflation with Nonminimal Couplings,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 123: 171301 (2019), arXiv:1905.12562.

  • D. Rauch et al. (Cosmic Bell collaboration), “Cosmic Bell Test using Random Measurement Settings from High-Redshift Quasars,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 121: 080403 (2018), arXiv:1808.05966.

  • J. Formaggio, D. I. Kaiser, M. Murskyj, and T. Weiss, “Violation of the Leggett-Garg Inequality in Neutrino Oscillations,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 117: 050402 (2016), arXiv:1602.00041.