Theoretical Astrophysics(Group Web Site)
Professor Faucher-Giguère has broad interests in theoretical astrophysics and cosmology, with particular emphasis on galaxy formation and evolution. Faucher-Giguère's research focuses on understanding the multi-scale physical processes that govern galaxy formation in the cosmological context, including star formation, galaxy-black hole co-evolution, galactic dynamics, and connections with the intergalactic medium and cosmology.
Vassiliki Kalogera [Kalogera personal page]
Professor Kalogera is interested in compact objects (white dwarf stars, neutron stars, black holes) -- especially when they are in binary star systems. General relativity predicts that such systems should emit gravity waves, thus forcing the stellar partners to slowly spiral inward until they collide. Kalogera is part of a large experiment, LIGO, which is attempting to detect gravity waves.
Professor Lithwick works on a variety of topics in theoretical and computational astrophysics. He is especially interested in planet formation, including both the early and late stages of this process. For the early stages, he is interested in the dynamics of the gas disk that surrounds a newly-formed star, and for the late stages he is interested in how planetesimals accumulate into planets, and what sets the architecture of the resulting planetary system. Other topics he works on include the formation of cosmological dark matter haloes, MHD turbulence, and gamma-ray bursts.
Frederic Rasio [Rasio personal page]
Professor Rasio is interested in the dynamics of dense stellar systems, hydrodynamic stellar interactions, relativistic astrophysics, the dynamics of binary and multiple star systems, radio pulsar timing and applications, and extrasolar planetary systems.
Professor Taam's research focuses on understanding the physics of compact sources (white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes) by studying the nature, origin, and evolution of close binary systems in which a white dwarf or neutron star captures matter and angular momentum from a companion star.