Stellar Dynamics and Dark Matter

Simulation of a binary interaction with an accretion disc.Stellar dynamics, or the study of the motions of stars, is a powerful tool for understanding the Universe. It can be used to probe the dark matter content of galaxies and to understand the evolutionary history of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. We use a range of techniques, including N-body simulations and analytical modelling, to provide new insights into fundamental dynamical processes and to interpret observed data. 

Detailed study of dwarf and satellite galaxies in the Local Group may allow us to understand the nature of the non-luminous dark matter, which makes up about 25% of the mass budget of the Universe. On larger scales, we are developing new dynamical models of the Milky Way, which will be used to interpret the data obtained from the next generation of observational surveys.