Research Fields - Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of physics that studies phenomena on large scales: the Sun, the planets, the stars, the galaxies, the matter and energy that are between them, and the universe as a whole. Astrophysics research requires familiarity and use several branches of physics, such as high-energy, nuclear, atomic, and condensed-matter physics, thermodynamics and hydrodynamics, special and general relativity.
The broad aim of astrophysics is to determine what the universe is made of, understand how physical processes have made it the way it is, and explain how it works and its evolution. Examples include (i) the geometry of space-time and the components of the universe -- radiation, normal matter, dark matter, and dark energy; (ii) the formation of the first stars and structures after the Big Bang; (iii) black holes at all scales and their role in the formation and development of galaxies - stellar evolution, cosmic explosions, compact stellar remnants, and their contributions to element production, and the creation and acceleration of high energy cosmic particles; (iv) interstellar processes, including the formation of complex molecules, dust particles, and stars; and (v) the discovery and understanding of planets, their properties and habitability for life, their formation and destruction.
In all of these fields, observational and theoretical astrophysicists work closely together. Observers at TAU use a large array of modern facilities, on the ground and in space, to observe the sky at all wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. These include the latest generation of giant optical and near-infrared telescopes, as well as specialized mid-infrared and millimeter-wave facilities, in Hawaii, Chile, and Europe, space telescopes including Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel, Chandra, Kepler, Swift, and Fermi spanning infrared to gamma-ray energies, and the telescopes at TAU's Wise Observatory in Mitzpe Ramon, whose global position makes it a unique tool for studying time-domain astronomical phenomena.
Theorists at TAU use a whole range of tools to interpret and understand astrophysical phenomena. These include analytic calculations and massively parallel numerical computations.
These two connected approaches have led to enormous progress in recent years in understanding the physical universe.
Dr. Iair Arcavi, Rennan Barkana, Sara Beck, Noah Brosch*, Attay Kovetz*, Ben-Zion Kozlovsky*, Elia Leibowitz*, Amir Levinson, Dan Maoz, Tsevi Mazeh*, Ehud Nakar, Hagai Netzer*, Dovi Poznanski, Yoel Rephaeli*, Amiel Sternberg, Dr. Benjamin Trakhtenbrot.