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: 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?

Gravitational waves
May 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

George Efstathiou
Jan 28, 2014

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


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