Black holes, the Big Bang, supernovae, gamma ray bursts, pulsars, quasars, active galactic nuclei: the Universe is a beautiful and fascinating place. While astronomy is the most ancient of sciences, it also is largely unknown, and poorly understood. Recent technological advances place us at the cusp of a scientific revolution in our understanding of the Universe. The University of Utah has long been a leader in theoretical astrophysics, gamma-ray astronomy, and cosmic-ray astronomy. In the last couple of decades we have grown this program to include a broad range of interests, including high-energy astrophysics, cosmology, large scale structure, galactic origin and structure, and black holes.
Astrophysicists study celestial bodies such as stars and galaxies by observing their light emissions and particles. These two fields operate on very different scales: one deals with subatomic particles, the other with the Universe at large. Yet they intertwine when addressing some of our most profound scientific questions, such as "What is the origin fate of the universe?" and "What is the nature of dark energy that drives the accelerating expansion of the universe?"
Researchers at the University of Utah’s Department of Physics and Astronomy are carrying out large-scale computer calculations to recreate the conditions of the quark-gluon plasma. We are able to study the formation of protons and neutrons as the Universe cooled. Such information is vital to our understanding of how the Universe came into being.
Astro Group Faculty
Listed alphabetically by last name.
Theoretical Astrophysics including planet formation, the outer solar system, relativistic astrophysics, astrophysical cosmology, galactic structure hypervelocity stars.
Utilizing BOSS of SDSS3 to discover new strong gravitational galaxy lenses. In conjunction with follow-up HST multi-color images of the galaxy lenses detected in the SLACS survey, to provide constraints on structure formation galaxy evolution problems.
- Research Website
- Faculty Activity Report (FAR)
- Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS3)
- SLACS BOSS BELLS
- The Master Lens Database
Observational cosmology the instrumentation required for astronomical observations.
An observational astronomer interested in the application of stellar spectroscopic tools (as well as advanced statistical, multivariate analysis, data mining techniques) to investigate topics ranging from the origins of chemical elements in the universe to the formation evolution of galaxies.
Anil studies how galaxies form by focusing on the nearest galaxies where we can see individual stars star clusters. His current focus is understanding the massive star clusters black holes that form at the centers of galaxies. His work uses the Hubble Space Telescope large ground based optical infrared telescopes.
X-ray astronomy; galaxy clusters; galaxies; black holes; cosmology
Galactic archeology; the Milky Way; stellar populations; the interstellar medium
Cosmology, large-scale structure, galaxy clustering; Galaxy formation evolution, Lyman-α emitting galaxies; Radiative transfer of Lyman-α photons applications in astrophysics; Gravitational lensing; Broad research interests in other fields of astrophysics.
High Energy Astrophysics Faculty
Cosmology, astrophysics, high energy physics.
Experimental high energy astrophysics, including energetic phenomena in compact objects such as Active Galactic Nuclei black holes, astrophysical signatures of quantum gravity, quark matter, determination the origins of cosmic rays with energies above 1012 eV.
Stephan is interested by the gamma ray emission around compact objects such as super-massive black-holes as in the M87 radio-galaxy or in X-ray binaries. Stephan is also interested in using Intensity Interferometry with future Cherenkov telescope arrays to observe the detailed images of stars with unprecedented angular resolutions.
Dark matter; particle astrophysics cosmology; supersymmetry phenomenology; physics beyond the standard model.
Ultra high energy cosmic ray physics; cosmic ray detectors; astroparticle physics; observational astronomy