An 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.