Physics research underlies the progress in almost every area of science, from chemistry to biology to electronics to medicine, and physicists defined the html code for the Internet as we know it. You want to see tumors in your body, try tools from physics. You want to see better, try laser surgery using the math that we astronomers invented to see better on the ground and in space. You want to see oil reserves underground, use sound waves and the math that physicists invented.

Then of course there is the cultural benefit of understanding who we are and where we could go if we try.

-- Dr. John C. Mather, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics

Faculty Research

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Since the dawn of humankind, the night sky has fascinated countless generations across cultures and times. The advent of modern astronomy has revealed a vast Universe populated with an incredible diversity of objects ranging from the smallest planets to the largest clusters of galaxies. Today, state-of-the-art technology allows us to detect, image, and characterize these planets, stars and galaxies to an unprecedented level of precision. UNM astronomers use radio observations from the Very Large Array (VLA) and Long Wavelength Array (LWA), both located close by in New Mexico, to study the formation history of the Milky Way, explore the properties of some of the most extreme sources in the Universe such as supermassive black holes and neutron stars, probe the formation of the first stars, and investigate the evolution of distant galaxies. They also use data from some of the largest ground-based and space-based telescopes to detect and characterize distant exoplanets. In parallel, our astrophysicists study the behavior of neutrinos during supernova explosions, which are some of the most energetic events taking place in the Universe. They also investigate the nature of dark matter, the mysterious substance forming most of the matter in the Universe, by looking at its impact on the structure of the Milky Way and other distant galaxies, and by searching for a possible gamma-ray signal from its annihilation.

Theory

Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine

Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine

Theoretical cosmology, particle astrophysics, dark matter

Huaiyu Duan

Huaiyu Duan

Compact objects and neutrino physics

Observation/Experiment

Darcy Barron

Darcy Barron

Cosmic microwave background, millimeter-wave instrumentation, low-temperature detectors

Diana Dragomir

Diana Dragomir

Exoplanets

Patricia Henning

Patricia Henning

Radio astronomy, galaxy clusters, cosmic voids

Dinesh Loomba

Dinesh Loomba

Dark matter direct detection, astroparticle physics

John Matthews

John Matthews

Astroparticle physics

Ylva Pihlström

Ylva Pihlström

Radio astronomy, astrophysical masers, Galactic astronomy

Richard Rand

Richard Rand

Radio, optical, infrared astronomy; Extragalactic astronomy; Interstellar Medium

Gregory Taylor

Gregory Taylor

Radio astronomy instrumentation, galaxy clusters, gamma-ray bursts

Related Websites:

Center for Astrophysical Research and Technologies

Long Wavelength Array