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. 

Microbiome & Astrobiology: How to Search for Life on Other Worlds

Jan 25, 2015

Armed with new knowledge about how microbes persist even in the Earth’s harshest environments, astrobiologists are planning the next missions to search for life in our solar system. Their bets are on microbes.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up (Transcript)

Dec 11, 2014

Scientists working on the three newest dark matter experiments are hopeful that we’ll soon understand a quarter of the universe – but they’re making no promises.

Spotlight Live: Earth-like Planets in Other Solar Systems (Transcript)

Nov 09, 2014

During a recent Google Hangout, three astrophysicists discussed what we can learn about the planets in other solar systems, and answer viewers' questions about how close we are to discovering other Earths. Read a modified transcript of their discussion.

Spotlight Live: Dark Matter at Long Last? Three New Experiments Ramp Up

Nov 04, 2014

Three recently funded dark matter experiments have a good shot at glimpsing these long-sought particles. Three scientists on these projects debate the state of the hunt for dark matter, discuss the status of their experiments, and answer your questions.

New Dark Matter Experiments Prepare to Hunt the Unknown

Oct 22, 2014

Three new dark matter experiments are moving ahead with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. National Science Foundation — will one of them finally capture a glimpse of the universe's most elusive material?

Science as an Incubator of Peace: A Conversation with Hitoshi Murayama

Oct 20, 2014

Kavli IPMU Director Hitoshi Murayama discusses the importance of international scientific research for peace and development, expanding on his remarks at a recent United Nations event

Hitoshi Murayama's Address on Peace and Development at the United Nations

Oct 20, 2014

At a United Nations event organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Kavli IPMU Director Hitoshi Murayama presented the following prepared remarks.

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.


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