Institute of Astronomy
About this community
The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) came into being in 1972 by the amalgamation of three institutions which had developed on the site. These were the Cambridge University Observatory which was established in 1823, the Solar Physics Observatory (1912) and the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy (1967).
The IoA is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy. A wide class of theoretical problems are studied, ranging from models of quasars and of the evolution of the universe, through theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars, X-ray sources and black holes.
Much observational work centres around the use by staff of large telescopes abroad and in space to study quasars, galaxies and the chemical constitution of stars. A programme on the velocities of stars is conducted using the 36-inch telescope in Cambridge. Instrumentation development is also an important area of activity, involving charge coupled devices and detector arrays for rapid recording of very faint light and the design and construction of novel spectrographs.
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(2020-11-28)In recent years, theories of gravity incorporating a scalar field coupled to gravity---'scalar-tensor' theories---have been subject to increased attention. In these theories, the scalar field mediates gravitational-strength ...
(2020-09-30)As the study of rocky exo-planets enters an era of characterisation, the ability to determine how similar a planet is to the Earth, and thus if it is potentially habitable, is fast approaching. An understanding of the ...
Understanding the Epoch of Reionization Using Simulations of Lyman-α Emitting Galaxies and 21-cm Emission This thesis covers three projects, all centred around using computational simulations to theoretically model the intergalactic medium (IGM) and Lyman-α emitting (LAE) galaxies in the early universe. These galaxies are a ...
In this thesis I present the results of my PhD research into the physics of accretion (infall) and ejection (outflow) of matter in compact objects. Accretion disc winds are formed of hot and ionised material launched by ...