Astrophysics and Cosmology
Thirteen full-time faculty members are joined by staff, postdocs, and students in research on astrophysics and cosmology. Major areas of research include:
- theories of the very early universe (Khoury, Trodden);
- approaches to cosmic acceleration, including modified gravity (Jain, Khoury, Sheth, Trodden);
- the properties of dark matter and dark energy, and their influence on the formation of galaxies (Bernstein, Devlin, Jain, Sako, Sanderson, Sheth);
- the nonlinear growth of structure in the Universe (Bernstein, Jain, Sheth);
- the evolution of galaxies through the epoch of reionization and into the recent era (Aguirre, Bernardi, Lidz);
- millimeter and sub-millimeter observations of galaxy clusters, and of star and galaxy formation (Aguirre, Devlin);
- observations of transient phenomena in the Universe (Sako);
- detection of planets and planet-forming systems around nearby stars (Blake, Devlin, Jain); and
- observations of the Solar System beyond Neptune (Bernstein, Blake, Sako).
We address these questions from many angles:
- developing new instrumentation in the optical, millimeter, and sub-millimeter regimes;
- observations from the radio through x-ray;
- analysis of large survey datasets;
- computation and simulation;
- and theory.
There is close collaboration between the astrophysics group and Penn researchers conducting laboratory and astrophysical studies of the nature of dark matter (Klein, Sanderson) and theoretical studies of gravitational and dark-sector physics (Khoury, Trodden). Many members of the department apply techniques from data science and machine learning to astronomical datasets (Bernardi, Jain, Sako, Sanderson).
Pedro Bernardinelli, Astronomy postdoctoral researcher and recent department PhD graduate, and Gary Bernstein, Reese WRead More
Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty, research staff, and students have been contributing to the global effort to better understand dark matter and dark energy.Read More
With the goal of understanding dark energy and the accelerating expansion of the universe, DES released six years of data, representing one of the largest galaxy surveys published to date.Read More
Penn Physics and Astronomy Researchers Lead Effort to Publish Data About Hundreds of Millions of Astronomical Objects
In collaboration with The Dark Energy Survey, faculty and researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy contributed to the publication of catalog of nearly 700 million astronomical objectsRead More