The Astrophysics Division brings together our world-class observational and theoretical astrophysics together with technology development activities which underpin the research programme. The School of Physics and Astronomy has been a world-leader in high-energy astrophysics ever since the 1960s, but its activities have since diversified across the whole electromagnetic spectrum using both space- and ground-based observatories. Today, our astrophysics research spans the observations of and theoretical interpretation of many classes of sources.
Our observational research programmes include the study of transient phenomena, the formation and evolution of galaxies, studies of variable stars and supernovae, and the search for extrasolar planets. The School is involved in multiple cutting-edge international observational projects including Swift, NGTS, GOTO, JWST, CTA, XMM-Newton, SVOM, Astrosat, SMILE and Athena.
Our research programmes in theoretical astrophysics studies the key physical processes which govern the evolution of the Universe. These can be broadly described as "accretion processes" and "dynamics", but these broad themes have applications across a very wide range of physical systems, from exoplanets, to super-massive black holes, to galaxies. The complex nature of these processes means that much of our work involves large-scale numerical simulations, and as a result the School is host to one node of the UK's DiRAC high-performance computing facility.