Our research in astrophysics and cosmology spans huge time- and length-scales, from brown dwarfs to the visible Universe, from solar and stellar studies to black holes, from galaxy formation and evolution to dark matter astroparticle physics.
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Sun, Stars and Planets
Understanding the formation of planets out of the disks of gas and dust surrounding newborn stars and how this process is linked to the formation of the stars themselves. How do stellar properties influence the characteristics -in particular, the habitability - of the orbiting planets? Solar and stellar magnetic activity and the influence of magnetic activity on the (wavelength-dependent) radiation emitted by the star is relevant to the influence of the Sun on climate change on the Earth, and to the habitability of extrasolar planets.
Galaxy and Quasar Formation and Evolution
Understanding how the population of galaxies that we see around us, including spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies, quasars and galaxy clusters, come about. When did the first galaxies form, and what processes dominated their formation and led to the evolution of the universe we see today?
80% of the matter in the Universe is made of a new type of particle, and the experimental hunt for this dark matter is entering a crucial phase. The question of the nature of dark matter is one of the most important in all physics.
New statistical methods can be used to the inference of cosmological parameters and model selection, focusing on the cosmic microwave background, weak gravitational lensing, large-scale structure and 21cm radiation, with scientific goals which include neutrino masses, measurement of dark energy properties and testing of Einstein gravity.
Centres and Initiatives
SpaceLab, a multidisciplinary research network that facilitates collaboration and idea generation across Imperial and with external partners. The SpaceLab aims to strengthen collaborative research, leverage research funding, and promote innovative partnerships with the space industry.
The 12-month full-time programme consists of lecture courses and project work, with a major project in the summer.
Information regarding postgraduate admissions and PhD projects in Astrophysics.