Theory and Computation

The theory group of the Astronomy Department studies problems in stellar astrophysics, plasma astrophysics, star formation, galactic structure, N-body dynamics, and high energy astrophysics.

The department has a long tradition of excellence in the theoretical and observational study of the interstellar medium, and our ongoing work on plasma astrophysics, turbulence, and star formation follow in this tradition.

In connection with the Center for Magnetic Self Organization, Prof. Lazarian‘s group is using numerical and analytic approaches to understand the nature of MHD turbulence and its role in star formation and beyond.

Prof. Zweibel‘s group studies a range of plasma and MHD effects and detailed astrophysical applications, like the nature of the magneto-rotational instability in accretion flows, the generation of galactic outflows, and the effects of cosmic rays on the dynamics of MHD flows.

The theoretical stellar astrophysics group under Prof. Townsend studies the winds from massive stars, as well as the signature of pulsations in the atmospheres of stars, using cutting edge computational methods, in part through the use of GPU programming.

Prof. Heinz‘ group studies the nature of relativistic jets and their impact on the large scale environment, as well as the generic nature of black hole atmospheres and their properties as a sample.

Run by Sebastian Heinz, Alex Lazarian, Richard Townsend, and Ellen Zweibel.

Research Groups