Neutron stars contain the densest known matter in the Universe and the strongest magnetic fields; a cubic centimeter of neutron-star matter has a mass of one hundred million metric tons, while magnetic fields are as large as 1015 G (1011 T). The astrophysics group studies neutron-star rotational dynamics, thermal evolution, and explosive phenomena to deduce the properties and dynamics of the stellar interior. Components of this research are being conducted by Professors Link and Tsuruta.
A supermassive black hole resides at the center of most galaxies. Some galaxies contain black holes that are more than a billion times the mass of our Sun. As matter falls into the black hole it is heated and compressed, emitting intense radiation before passing through the event horizon. Jets of material traveling at nearly the speed of light can be driven away from the black hole. Professor Tsuruta studies how matter falls into a supermassive black hole, and the physics of the emission process. Professor Tsuruta also studies the formation of supermassive stars, and gravitational wave emission from merging black holes that could be detectable by LISA.
Faculty Participating in Astrophysics Programs: