Astrophysics in Physics

In addition to the astrophysical research conducted within the Astronomy Department, a range of high-visibility astrophysical research efforts are ongoing in the Physics department at UW-Madison, in collaboration with the Astronomy Department. This ranges from high energy particle astrophysics in the context of Ice Cube to instrumentation and studies of the ISM. A complete list of related projects can be found at

Ice Cube is a cubic kilometer neutrino detector in Antarctica, with the aim of detecting TeV neutrinos from high-energy astrophysical sources, such as blazars, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and even dark matter annihilation. Construction is now complete and observations with all 86 strings of photomultipliers deployed.

Active research is also ongoing in the composition and structure of the Galactic interstellar medium, including the construction of microcalorimeter detectors flown on sounding rockets.

In addition, efforts to study the early universe through the cosmic microwave background are underway, including the development of instrumentation, observation, and theory.

Theoretical efforts within the Physics Department include the study of astrophysical plasmas in the Center for Magnetic Self Organization.

Research Groups