Shum Lik Hang Harry 岑力行

  • Scholarship in 2023 at University of Nottingham

About Lik Hang Harry Shum’s work

Lik Hang Harry Shum is an astrophysicist whose current field of research is nonlinear evolution beyond General Relativity (GR) and the Standard Model. The theory of General Relativity is regarded as the most successful theory of gravitation to date, but we know that it cannot represent the complete picture of physics. Its incompatibility with Quantum Theory has motivated theoretical physicists to study theories beyond GR – seeking improved theories aiming to replace it as the most fundamental theory of gravity. However, a major challenge faced by the community is that the predictions for the vast majority of such theories are unknown, hence our ability to understand and test their consequences is limited. Shum’s research aims to develop the techniques to produce accurate gravitational waveforms for several alternative theories of gravity.

Studying theories such as those belonging to the Horndeski family, Shum aims to produce templates for gravitational waves emitted from a binary black hole during the inspiral and merger phase. In order to produce results that are applicable to a large area in parameter space, analytical and numerical methods will be employed. The waveforms can then be compared to the predictions of GR, from which potential deviations may be identified. These templates are key to verifying the validity of theories using observational data in current (and future) gravitational-wave detectors.


Lik Hang Harry Shum obtained his degree as a Master of Mathematical and Theoretical Physics from the University of Oxford in 2023. He won the Queen’s College’s Styring Junior Scholarship in 2020, followed by the Styring Scholarship in 2021 and 2022. He was also awarded the Queen’s College Collection prize on multiple occasions between 2020 and 2022. He is now pursuing his PhD research and studies at the University of Nottingham.