California Institute of Technology
About tapirs


Research in the TAPIR group includes, but is not limited to, the subjects in the following list.

Solar System
Formation and evolution of planetary systems and solar system bodies.

Evolution of X-ray binaries and binary pulsars; stellar collisions and interactions in globular clusters and galactic nuclei; plasma physics in stars and supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.

Compact Objects
Oscillation modes in white dwarfs and other stars; white dwarf cooling; Newtonian and General Relativistic dynamics of pulsars; gravitational waveforms from merging compact binaries; pulsar emission mechanisms; recycling of neutron stars in globular clusters and Galactic binaries; pulsar magnetic field decay; accretion disks and relativistic jets from X-ray binaries (neutron star and black hole).

Formation and merging of galaxies and their associated supermassive black holes, and their effects on the ionization and evolution of the intergalactic medium.

The Universe
The origin of large scale structure in the universe, the cosmic microwave background, dark matter (supersymmetric particles, axions, ...); gravitational wave sources, background, and detection -with a close relation to the LIGO and LISA gravity wave detector development; strong and weak gravitational lensing; the ionization and evolution of the intergalactic medium; origin and detection of primordial magnetic fields; primordial element abundances.

Dark Matter
Indirect dark matter searches with gamma rays and charged particles, direct dark matter searches, gravitational lensing, and observational probes of dark matter structure and interactions.

Gravitational-Wave Science
The astrophysics, phenomenology and modeling of gravitational-wave sources; development of data analysis methods for LIGO and LISA; participation (via the LIGO Scientific Collaboration) in searches for waves in LIGO's data; modeling of Advanced LIGO detectors and ways to improve their performance; development and analysis of concepts for third-generation LIGO detectors, which will beat the standard quantum limit; exploration of ways to test quantum theory for human-sized objects using LIGO detectors and smaller-scale interferometers.

Numerical Relativity - SXS - Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes
The SXS project is a collaborative effort involving groups at the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University. Our goal is the simulation of black holes and other extreme spacetimes to gain a better understanding of Relativity, and the physics of exotic objects in the distant cosmos.

Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics: This center, for which the Moore Foundation has donated $5.6 million, will attack the problems posed by dark matter, dark energy, and the early universe. As a think tank, it will be nourished by the wealth of observational activity in cosmology at Caltech. The program will fund senior scientists as well as a visitor program, and will prepare postdoctoral scholars to enter long-term faculty positions. By analyzing and interpreting observational data in the next decade and brainstorming ideas for future experimental directions, the center will advance our understanding of several of the most confounding questions in fundamental physics today.

The principal investigator is Marc Kamionkowski, professor of physics and theoretical astrophysics.

Further information on theoretical astrophyics and relativity research at Caltech can be found on our page in the graduate recruiting brochure.


Other Astronomy Resources at Caltech

Much of our research is done in conjunction with members of Caltech's Astronomy Department, and, within the Physics Department, the Infrared Astrophysics Group, the Space Radiation Laboratory, and the LIGO team.