Astrophysics Research Interests

Faculty

  • Professor James Stone: Astrophysical gas dynamics; star and planet formation, accretion flows, interstellar gas dynamics. Numerical algorithms for magneto-hydrodynamics and radiation hydrodynamics
  • Professor Matias Zaldarriaga: Cosmology -- early universe cosmology, cosmological perturbation theory, cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, dark matter and dark energy

Visiting Professor

  • Maureen and John Hendricks Visiting Professor Rashid Sunyaev: Theoretical astrophysics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology: including CMB, clusters of galaxies, theory of accretion onto black holes and neutron stars, interaction of matter and radiation under astrophysical conditions, x-ray astronomy

Current Members

  • Lev Arzamasskiy (starting Fall 2020): Plasma astrophysics, collisionless turbulence, particle heating, plasma instabilities, accretion disks, solar wind, intracluster medium

  • Gaspar Bakos (starting Fall 2020): All-sky variability, transiting extrasolar planets, cosmic explosions, astronomical instrumentation, robotic telescopes

  • Giovanni Cabass (starting Fall 2020): Effective field theory methods in cosmology: inflation and large-scale structure; galaxy bias; non-Gaussianity of primordial gravitational waves

  • Sukanya Chakrabarti (starting Fall 2020): Galactic dynamics (dark matter, dwarf galaxies; simulations and observations), time-domain astronomy (lensed supernovae)

  • Horng Sheng Chia (starting Fall 2020): Gravitational waves, orbital dynamics, black holes and neutron stars, astroparticle physics, dark matter, physics beyond the Standard Model, cosmology

  • Susan Clark: Magnetic fields, interstellar medium, polarized cosmological foregrounds, magnetohydrodynamics, magnetorotational instability, pattern formation, machine vision

  • Shany Danieli (starting Fall 2020): Galaxy formation and evolution, galactic dynamics, dark matter, near-field cosmology, dwarf galaxies, ultra-diffuse galaxies, globular clusters, stellar populations, low surface brightness imaging and spectroscopy, astronomical surveys, instrumentation

  • Jo Dunkley (starting Fall 2020): Cosmology, cosmic microwave background, neutrinos, large-scale structure, dark matter, dark energy

  • Eric Ford (starting Fall 2020): Exoplanets, planet formation, demographics of planetary system architectures, Mitigating impact of stellar variability on Doppler planet surveys, Bayesian computation & inference

  • Brenda Frye (starting Fall 2020): Gravitational lensing by galaxy clusters, galaxy cluster evolution, lensed transients, intergalactic medium, data analysis techniques

  • Jeffrey Fung: Planet formation, protoplanetary disks, debris disks, astrophysical fluid dynamics, numerical methods, GPU computing

  • Daniel Grin (starting Fall 2020): Ultra-light axions, primordial recombination, generalized dark-matter models, cosmic-microwave background theory, varying fundamental 'constants', primordial isocurvature fluctuations, applications of principal component analysis, CMB spectral distortions, and dark-matter direct detection

  • Alexander Kaurov: Reionization, cosmology, early universe and galaxy formation, 21 cm probes; dark matter annihilation; neutron stars

  • Helmer Koppelman (starting Fall 2020): Formation and evolution of the Milky Way, Galactic dynamics, large astronomical surveys (emphasis on Gaia), dark matter, N-body simulations, big data analysis, machine learning

  • Jing Luan: Orbital dynamics: mean motion resonance, secular resonance; dynamic tides: resonance locking; Asteroseismology: solar-like oscillations, nonlinear modal coupling; planetary interiors: Jupiter, Saturn, Enceladus, Europa, etc.

  • Lia Medeiros: Black holes, the Galactic center black hole Sgr A*, the Event Horizon Telescope, tests of GR, accretion disks, variability of accreting systems, principal components analysis, simulations

  • Elias Most: (starting Fall 2020): Gravitational waves, neutron stars, neutron star equation of state, neutron star mergers, electromagnetic precursors, magnetohydrodynamics, numerical relativity, numerical methods for astrophysical fluid dynamics

  • Elena Murchikova: Milky Way's Galactic Centre black hole Sagittarius A*; black hole accretion; accretion disks; ALMA; neutron stars and chiral fluids

  • Roman Rafikov: Theoretical astrophysics, planetary sciences, planet formation, N-body dynamics, astrophysical fluid dynamics, accretion disks, high-energy astrophysics

  • Carolyn Raithel (starting Fall 2020): Neutron stars, the dense-matter equation of state, gravitational waves, neutron star mergers, Bayesian inference, numerical simulations, core-collapse supernovae

  • Marcel Schmittfull: Cosmology, large-scale structure, gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background; inflation, dark energy, neutrinos; observables beyond the power spectrum

  • Yuan-Sen Ting: Machine learning; formation and evolution of the Milky Way; local group cosmology; stellar atmosphere and spectra; stellar populations; stellar evolution; galactic dynamics; intermediate mass black holes; cosmology; weak lensing

  • Elizabeth Tolman (starting Fall 2020): Magnetic reconnection, magnetohydrodynamics, kinetic theory, plasma transport, plasmoid instability, pulsars, tokamaks

  • Benjamin Wallisch: Cosmology – cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, neutrinos and other light relics, cosmological signatures of physics beyond the Standard Model, inflation

  • David Weinberg (starting Fall 2020): Cosmology, large scale structure and weak lensing as probes of cosmic acceleration; galaxy formation, chemical evolution of the Milky Way; astronomical surveys

  • Siyao Xu (starting Fall 2020): Magnetohydrodynamic turbulence, turbulent dynamo, magnetic reconnection, cosmic rays, (first) star formation, high-energy astrophysics, interstellar / intergalactic turbulence

  • Barak Zackay: Applications of algorithms, statistics and signal processing in observational astronomy, particularly in searching for optical transients, fast radio bursts, pulsars, gravitational waves and exoplanets; anything that relates to pulsars, fast radio bursts, planets and gravitational waves