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. 

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

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.

2014 Annual Meeting Communicating Science Seminar

Mar 06, 2014

Seminar from the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting, shares science communication expertise in working with different types of content, across a range of formats, for various audiences. The session was separated into three videos, with each video relating to engagement with one of these audiences:  journalists, social media and public events.

Spotlight Live: Stellar Explosions and Death Dances

Feb 05, 2014

Norbert Schulz and Nicola Omodei discuss the recent detection of a dying star igniting the most powerful blast ever seen – something so powerful it radiated energy that was 500 million times that of visible light and how scientists have discovered that a familiar sight in the skies is actually our earliest view yet of a star being consumed by the remnant of a nearby exploded star.

A Conversation with George Efstathiou

Jan 28, 2014
George Efstathiou

In a recent interview, KICC Director George Efstathiou reflected on his latest work and the first sparks that fired his imagination about cosmology.

Spotlight Live: Falling Into a Black Hole

Sep 09, 2013
Black hole

On September 25, Noon-12:50 PDT, Raphael Bousso, Juan Maldacena, Joseph Polchinski and Leonard Susskind (Stanford University) answer questions about the latest theories about what happens when matter falls into a black hole,.

Spotlight Live: Black Holes & Our Cosmic Evolution

Sep 05, 2013
Black hole

Billions of years ago, a subset of galaxies in the relatively young universe were producing new stars at a rate of 1,000 per year. 

Black Holes Revisited

Sep 05, 2013
Black hole

Andrea Merloni, Priyamvada Natarajan, Tommaso Treu and John Wise discuss the latest findings about black holes, including new questions about how supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies came into existence.

Dark Energy Projects Up and Running

Aug 09, 2013

The race to discover the nature of dark energy has begun. An update to accompany the roundtable discussion, "Mapping the Expansion of the Universe."


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