When we look out into the Universe and back into the past, we see little else but galaxies - the Cosmic Background Radiation, clusters of galaxies and gama-ray burst sources are pretty much the only other objects of study. Consequently, an understanding of the structure, dynamics and evolution of galaxies is fundamental to astronomy.
The Astrophysics sub-department has a very strong group of galaxy observers, who use cutting-edge instruments to measure galactic kinematics. We also collaborate with colleagues who observe the the interstellar medium at radio frequencies.
Research topicsCurrently major efforts are being made to:
- model the environs of galactic-centre massive black holes;
- to understand the structure and dynamics of galactic bars;
- to understand the flow of gas into and out of galaxies;
- to understand the role that active galactic nuclei had limiting the growth of galaxies.