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Observational Cosmology, Galaxy Formation and Evolution
Galaxies, and their accumulated gas, stars, and dust, are the main visible manifestations of structure in the Universe. Understanding galaxy formation and evolution is one of the key problems in astrophysics, combining the fields of stellar populations, gravitational dynamics, gas physics, active galactic nuclei, computer simulations, and cosmology.
Interstellar medium, Star Formation, and Planets
The interstellar medium, consisting of gas, dust, and magnetic fields, is the raw material from which stars and planets form. This area of research studies the structure of the ISM, as well as the detailed formation and evolution of stars, star clusters, and planetary systems.
Gravitational Physics and High-energy Phenomena
Gravitational physics research involves studies of applications of numerical relativity, black hole dynamics, sources of gravitational radiation, critical phenomena in gravitational collapse, the initial value problem of general relativity, and relativistic astrophysics. These studies also include the many high energy phenomena associated with these processes.
Astrophysics is one of the leading fields in the use of computational power to understand complex phenomena. Simulations can constrain theories and be matched to observations on a large range of scales: from relativistic binaries, accretion disks, and star forming regions, to star clusters, whole galaxies, and cosmological volumes of the Universe.