P. Vargas Moniz Home Page


Not so long ago, in a far, rainy and remote island surrounded by mist and fog, where

were my daily living, I was for 5 now very distant years, a most (!) happy Post-Doctoral Fellow in the General Relativity group of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, at the University of Cambridge. If you have ever wonder what's that mad-wolf-howling late at night until the crack of dawn, now you know who's and why: It is me (who got lost from the pack)! Life at Cambridge is far from dull (contrary to what you may have heard)! Even the official college-cat gets a full swing of apres-lecturing entertainment (you may need some specific software to see this elucidating movie).

Before that significant period in my academic enlightenment, I did my undergraduate (B.Sc) and graduate (M.Sc and Ph.D.) studies at the Physics Department of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon in Portugal. Overall, I had the enormous privilege to benefit from the feedback, guidance and support of people such as A. Barroso, P. Crawford, J. Mourao and S. Hawking.

Currently, I am a tenure-track lecturer (C3 category - Associate Professor) at the Physics Department of UBI (Universidade da Beira Interior) in Portugal. Moreover, I am a member of the research centre CENTRA in IST, Lisbon.

... and UBI

UBI is a young university and a former polytechnic. It has recently expanded in many academic directions but claims that (i) "... UBI is just a step behind Oxford ...", (ii) "... surely it will constitute the Portuguese Cambridge ...", together with strange sightings reporting that CAM (Cambridge Alumni Magazine) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) were found in the ground level of some UBI labs (!) should be regarded from a cautious perspective. There is a long way yet to go. My opinion and suggestions for a credible strategy are comprised in a MANIFEST I wrote with the title A UBI e as Sombras de Platao (UBI and Plato's Shadows) [in Portuguese!], regarding the current situation of Portuguese Universities and UBI in particular. Feedback has been close to the coldest cosmological vacuum (the latter is probably also far more attractive). The manifest was published in the UBI on-line journal URBI et ORBI , where this other interview of mine as well as another one are also available.

Nevertheless, UBI has surely many advantages and significant improvements have been made in the last few years. Most notably, implementing active research in theoretical physics in the areas of Cosmological Implications of Superstring Theory. Since the start of my tenure (1998) I have extensively used the funding of several research projects (some of which I was the the head coordinator). These have provided for the creation of LAG (Laboratory of Astrophysics and Geophysics) and endorsed the acquisition of several most needed means for research. You can also check on the resource facilities which are available for research here, in case you will be visiting us within a project/programme collaboration.

This just goes to say that when you face hard times, having arrived with a handful of great expectations, you can find solace in an iluminating Japanese proverb that says more or less: "You cannot change your destiny but you may raise in the challenge of it". And so I have been doing and will try to continue to do so.

Information on Lectures

Herewith you can find several useful items [a brief description, lecture notes (if available), the programme and evaluation methods (i.e., grading), bibliography, previous tests/exams, student questionaires, schedulle for tutorials, problem sets (if available), other resources for learning assistance] regarding the subjects I have, am or will be lecturing:

I usually teach two (or theree!) of the above subjects for semester, amounting to 14 hours per week or even more (including tutorials) and yes, it is really a (very!) hard work. In particular, when you also strive for sucess in other academic directions.

Recently, I have also been preparing a Physics for Poets course, hopefully to the interest of others beyond the physics community, outreaching a wider group with a sincere interest in (rigourous) science.

I do also sincerely trust to have the opportunity to propose and coordinate further lecture courses at UBI on subjects such as (i) Advanced Topics in General Relativity and (ii) Superstring Theory. One may ask if there is the need to teach and study them at UBI. Does anyone (besides some physicists) care about those scientific border lines? Well, yes, and click here to see why and how.

My current scientific interests:

The following items constitute topics who have drawn and/or have my current academic attention:

I have formulated a list that includes several subjects for research, aiming at different ranges of time and difficulty. They may raise your interest and constitute a good motivation to join our research activities.

Potential research visitors (graduate students or Post-doctoral fellows) may find a description of our resources made available to their investigation.

Herewith you can obtain a summary of my recent and current research activity. It basically focuses on (Quantum) Cosmological Implications of Superstring and Supergravity (M-)theories. Quoting W. Pauli, "Ich warne Neugierige", i.e., I caution the curious, meaning that it involves a strong commitment to a dedicated and (wolf-pack) predatory pursuit attitude until the (scientific!) aim is seized.

Research Projects

The following is a list of research projects I have been involved (as well as coordinationg some) since my tenure at UBI started:

My academic career

Detailed information about my career status updated(!) in postscript and PDF format:

Find a collection of some of my available papers/publications at:

(Recent!) Research Work

Reports - submitted/recently published

  1. A Tale of Two Symmetries -- The Observed Universe from Duality and Supersymmetry
  2. Origin of Structure in Supersymmetric Quantum Cosmology --- Awarded Essay, Physical Review D57 (1998) R7071 (author: P. Moniz)
  3. Supersymmetric Quantization of Anisotropic Scalar Tensor Cosmologies (authors: J. Lidsey [QMW] and P. Moniz) in Classical Quantum Gravity} 17 (2000) 4823-4840, [ (gr-qc/0010073)]
  4. Canonical and Quantum FRW Cosmological Solutions in M-Theory , (authors: P. Moniz. M. Cavaglia [UBI]) in Classical Quantum Gravity} 18 (2001) 95 [ (hep-th/0010280)]
  5. de Broglie-Bohm FRW Universes in Quantum String Cosmology Physical Review D65 (2002) 023516-1 (authors: J. Marto e P. Vargas Moniz)
  6. Spherically Symmetric Gravitational Fields: Black Holes and Midisuperspace quantization near the Apparent Horizon, Int. J. Mod. Phys. A17 (2002) 2459 (author: P. Vargas Moniz)
  7. Asymptotical AdS space from nonlinear gravitational models with stabilized extra dimensions, Physical Review D66 (2002) 044014 (authors: A. Zhuk, P. Vargas Moniz and U. Guenther)
  8. FRW Quantum Cosmology in the Non-Abelian Born-Infeld Theory , Classical Quantum Gravity 19 (2002) L127 (author: P. Vargas Moniz)
  9. FRW Wormhole Instanton solutions in the non-Abelian Born-Infeld Theory Physical Review D66 (2002) 064012 (author: P. Vargas Moniz)
  10. Quintessence and non-Abelian Born-Infeld theory Physical Review D66 (2002) 103501, (author: P. Vargas Moniz)
  11. Non linear Multidimensional Cosmological Models with Form Fields: Stabilization of Extra Dimensions, Physical Review D68 (2003) 044010 (authors: A. Zhuk, P. Moniz and U. Guenther)
  12. FRW Quantum Cosmology with a Scalar Supermultiplet and Superpotential from N=1 Supergravity, Ann. Phys. 12 (2003) 174 (author: P. Moniz)

Projects/Work in progress

  1. Origin of Structure in Scalar tensor Theories, (authors: P. Moniz)
  2. Broglie-Bohm String Quantum Cosmology and Dilaton Potentials, (authors: P. Moniz, J. Marto [UBI])
  3. A Numerical study of Pre Big Bang Cosmologies, (authors: P. Moniz)
  4. Alpha varying Cosmologies in the Born Infeld Theory, (author: P. Moniz)
  5. Feynman Diagrams and Canonical Quantum Supergravity, (authors: C. Kiefer and P. Moniz)
  6. FRW Quantum Cosmology from D-p-branes, (authors: A. Kamenshchick and P. Moniz)

Seminar Series

Cosmological Scenarios within Superstring Theory:

I have also been organizing a few semester-seminars at GATC-UBI. Most of these seminars (were and) have been devoted to the (presentation and) discussion of new ideas (and approaches) describing the possible cosmological implications of superstring theory features (e.g., (mem)brane effective actions, multidimensional space-times, etc).

Some useful notes/information:

On your behalf...

Find here information (at a general public level) on the following issues (they will be updated/improved soon):

Several colleagues and sites found the above e-reports interesting and/or useful.

In Portuguese we can find here a summary of some my recent research work. It corresponds to part of the documentation I submitted for my Agregacao.

In addition, here are two files (coverted from PPs to html format) of talks (at a Public Understanding of Science level) I gave in 2001 and 2002:

More about myself

If ... is my favourite poem. Written by Rudyard Kippling, I do identify myself with all its content and message. This is my choice of epilogue to If...'s poem.

I was interviewed by Diario de Noticias (leading newspaper in Portugal) about my achievements and projects. You can see the interview here:

I speak several languages(!):

Englishvery good, fluent
Frenchvery good, fluent
Spanishvery good, fluent
Italiangood, fluent

And here is a list of countries I visited (I enjoy a lot to travel!):

I enjoy reading current newspapers and magazines

as well as watch BBC-World and spend evening/after dinner hours reading a good book, indulging myself with dark-bitter-chocolate, drinking the best Port wine there is, while listening to piano music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Grieg, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann or Sibelius. Recently I also start listening to "smooth jazz". In particular, I do enjoy N. Jones, L. Ekdahl, D. Krall, S. Nergaard, S. Kent, which constitute "jazz female voices" whose effect is to produce the most decadent chocolate ambience (in the very nice sense that they do melt you without mercy). Oh, well so I may not go to heaven, but ("decadent") dark-bitter chocolate and sweet Port wine just control me in these days. But here are some of the books I have finished or am finishing reading (some are in Portuguese):

If you have netmeeting features in your PC, you may see me work at UBI, pondering over a cosmological problem within a superstring scenario. You may even participate in some e-chat workshop/seminar in String Cosmology (only if you are involved in the research programme).

In addition, you may also watch me chasing my cats (Miss Brownie - the mother, PepperBall, Joyfull and MikeTiger - the kittens) or them chasing me. They were snatched and resqued from the jaws of the terrible Uruk-hai and a group of menacing orks, joined by evil sourcers, near the dark tower of Barad-dur, on Mordor. Well, not really. I just found the mother cat (I was not aware of that condition of hers yet!) near the Administrative Head Office (aka, Reitoria) of UBI. By the way, I am not a Tolkien fan, although I fancy some of the heroic sequences.

Blissfully, I am married to an understanding and (very!) supportive as well as most beautiful wife. In the attached photograph she is the one (yes, you guessed it) in the red-tartan overcoat feeding the furry little thing (yes, you guessed it also) that is a squirrel, with a bit of Cadbury's chocolate in Hyde Park, London, in a very cold winter morning in early December. Recently, she was also sighted giving biscuits to a family of a mother racoon and 3 cubs in the UBC campus, Vancouver, Canada.


My office at DAMTP was in room S29. I wish I had now a view of the Master's garden of St. Catherine's College and the old towers of Queen's College out the window.

Currently, my office is in the 5th floor of the Physics Building at UBI, facing SE, in the back of the foothills of Serra da Estrela (Portugal highest mountain, 2000 meters). It can be quite nice in Autumn and Winter (provided it has snowed and the heating is on, otherwise bring a y.o.h.s. - your own heating system!).

If I'm not at my desk, you may find me at

Sometime in September Lisbon, Portugal PhD Juri
Sometime in September Geneva, Switzerland RTN meeting
Sometime in October Lisbon, Portugal PhD Juri
Sometime in October Porto, Portugal Science-Religion Conference
Sometime in October California, USA String Cosmology Conference
Sometime in November California, USA Cosmology Workshop
Sometime in December Florida, USA Cosmology Conference
Sometime in January 26-30 India GR Cosmology Conference
Sometime in February Poland Quantum Gravity Conference
Sometime in June Cargese, France Cosmology Conference
During July Dublin, Ireland GR17 Conference
During August Michigan, USA String Conference
During August ... ...
During September -December ... ...

How to reach me ...

Please be patient; Don't call me, I will call you...

My address is: Physics Deparment, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), R. Marques d'Avila e Bolama, 6200 Covilha, PORTUGAL

UBI's phone and fax: (351)-275-319703 and (351)-275-319719.

You can also email me by clicking:

A wise assertion ...

... from good old Albert (Einstein), about when you may loose your precious time with meaningless activities (you may need to consult a German dictionary or a friend who knows the language):

"Die Tintenscheisserei ist endloss".

Click here if you want to hear his voice!

... and if you, like myself, feel often in these recent (and not so recent) livelong days a little bit more tired than usual, ...

Carpe Diem!

Aetus: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero;

Voa: aproveita o dia presente, confia pouco no amanha;

Fly: seaze the moment, trust little for what tomorrow brings.

Odes, I, 11 - Horatio