School of Physics Astrophysics

Research

The Astrophysics research group has expertise in cosmology, relativistic astrophysics, and knowledge management associated with virtual observatories and software telescopes. Our research programs, comprising theoretical, observational and computational studies, are aligned with the major international collaborations such as the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), Square-Kilometer Array (SKA), Australian Square-Kilometer Array Project (ASKAP), South Pole Telescope (SPT), POLARBEAR and the Simons Array, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).

Inflation

Inflation, a period of accelerating expansion in the early Universe, is a core element in the standard cosmological model. Inflation neatly solves a number of observational problems, such as: Why is the Universe flat? Why don't we see magnetic monopoles and other relics? How can the early Universe be so uniform? Understanding inflation is a key problem in modern physics.

Dark Energy

In 1998, astronomers studying supernovae made the surprising discovery that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating; their work was recognized by the 2011 Nobel Prize.

The mysterious stuff driving this acceleration was named 'dark energy', and is now known to account for about 70% of the Universe's density. There are a number of proposals for what dark energy is, ranging from Einstein's cosmological constant to scalar fields to modifications to General Relativity on cosmological distance scales. Understanding the nature of dark energy is a major area of research in modern cosmology.

Gravitational Waves

Virtually everything we know about the Universe comes from observations of light. LIGO and other gravitational wave detectors promise to open a new window into the Universe.

Public Data Releases

Public Releases of code, data, etc. for research done within the Astrophysics group

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