Astrophysics

The infant universeAn all-sky picture of the infant universe revealing 13.77 billion-year-old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. (Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

Astrophysics is a branch of astronomy that explores the physical properties of the cosmos and its composition. Astrophysicists study a broad range of topics, from the tiniest particles of matter and the forces that join them together to the grandest of celestial structures. In essence, astrophysics extends the workings of physics and chemistry that we experience directly here on Earth into the vastness of space. It is both an observational and theoretical science. To probe the universe's past, present and future, astrophysicists have built some of the most complex and precise machines in the world, including terrestrial and space-based telescopes tuned to various wavelengths. The continued seeking of new discoveries is constantly pushing the limits of telescope and model-building technology. 

Spotlight Live: Coming Soon - Earth-like Planets in Other Solar Systems

Oct 03, 2014

We’re on the verge of being able to tell which of the thousands of Earth-like planets in the universe could support life. 

2014 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics: A Discussion with Alan Guth, Andrei Linde and Alexei Starobinsky

Sep 06, 2014

The winners of the 2014 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics – Alan Guth, Andrei Linde and Alexei Starobinsky – discuss their development of the theory of inflation and reflect on how it has changed our view of the universe.

Building the Universe Pixel by Pixel

Aug 20, 2014

Three 'mapmakers' of the universe – Ralf Kaehler, Stuart Levy and Dylan Nelson – discuss how their dramatically intricate 3-D universes can tell important stories about the cosmos.


Spotlight Live: The Hunt for Other Worlds Heats Up (Transcript)

Jul 15, 2014

During a recent Google Hangout, three astrophysicists discussed the recent exoplanet discovery boom and considered the next steps in the hunt for habitable worlds. Read a modified transcript of their discussion.

Spotlight Live: The Hunt for Other Worlds Heats Up

Jul 09, 2014

Three astrophysicists – Zachory Berta-Thompson, Bruce Macintosh and Marie-Eve Naud.

Instantaneous Cosmic Growth: Have We Found the Smoking Gun?

May 19, 2014
Gravitational waves

Scientists have announced we may now have the first “smoking gun” evidence that the universe expanded with unmatchable speed in its earliest moments. Three theoretical physics consider the implications of this stunning development.

Spotlight Live: Secrets of the Universe’s First Light (Transcript)

Apr 29, 2014
BICEP2

The Kavli Foundation hosted a Google Hangout so that four preeminent astrophysicists could discuss this question. Read a modified transcript of the discussion.

Spotlight Live: Secrets of the Universe’s First Light

Apr 14, 2014
Spotlight Live: Secrets of the Universe’s First Light

John Carlstrom, Walter Ogburn, Michael Turner and Abigail Vieregg talk about the first hard evidence that the universe swelled from microscopic to cosmic size in less than the blink of an eye.

Searching High & Low for Dark Matter

Apr 04, 2014

During an annual conference, “Dark Matter 2014," hosted at University of California, Los Angeles, three leading physicists spent an hour discussing dark matter and its biggest highlights and prospects for future progress.

KIPAC Special Colloquium: 'Swirls from the Big Bang'

Mar 18, 2014
BICEP2

SLAC and Stanford scientists, many from the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), are at the center of the exciting new results of cosmic inflation and will be holding a special colloquium to celebrate on Wednesday, March 19 from 3:00-5:30pm PDT on the SLAC campus.

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