In the News


A number of our research projects have been picked up by various blogs and news organizations. It’s always fun to get the chance to talk to science journalists and through them, to the public. Here are some links to coverage of our work, which might help explain some of the topics we’re studying.


Coverage of the FIRE (Feedback in Realistic Environments) simulations:

FIRE simulations are featured in the nationally-released feature-length IMAX film “Voyage of Time” by Terrence Malick, narrated by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. You can see the clibs, together with narration by myself and Chris Hayward (who did all the real work to make these), by clicking here

FIRE predictions for the origin of the Milky Way and tiny “dwarf” galaxies:

Physics Today: Supernovae, SuperComputers, and Galactic Evolution

Caltech News: Re-Creating our Galaxy on a Supercomputer (with video)

Youtube link to the video, and Additional videos and explanation

Popular Mechanics: Astronomers Created the Most Detailed Computer Model of the Galaxy

Eureka alert: Reconciling dwarf galaxies with dark matter (with video)

Sky & Telescope: Missing Dwarf Galaxies Never Were

Science News: Possible perp found in mystery of Milky Way’s missing galaxy pals

Interesting Engineering: Galaxy Simulations Solve Missing Satellites Mystery

American Astronomical Society Meeting 228, San Diego, Press Conference (click on “From Molecules to Galaxies”, FIRE conference begins at 14:00)

Tech Times: How a Texas Supercomputer Solved an Interstellar Mystery (or see version at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, with video & audio)

Universe Today: Using the ‘Missing Physics’ of Stellar Feedback to Accurately Simulate Galaxies from the Big Bang to Today

Sky & Telescope: Why Galaxies Delay Star Birth

iTechPost: Caltech Designs A Computer Simulation Of The Milky Way Galaxy

American Astronomical Society Meeting 224, Boston, 2014, Press Conference (click on “An Astronomical Assortment” under the Boston AAS 224, June 2014 header, FIRE conference begins at 14:10)

Space.com: Milky Way CSI: Were Galaxy 'Homicides' an Inside Job?

The Daily Galaxy: "Mystery of 'Missing Physics' in the Universe” - Solved by CalTech Astrophysicists

SciTechDaily: Study Shows Dark Matter Dominates Nearby Dwarf Galaxy Triangulum II (also picked up by 14u News)

Engadget: Supercomputer gives most accurate picture yet of star formation

FIRE shows binary stars may be critical for re-ionizing the Universe:

AstroBites: “Brilliant Binaries” Explain Re-Ionization

FIRE predicts new instabilities in galactic nuclei:

AstroBites: Waltz Across Galactic Nuclei: An Instability in the centers of Galaxies

FIRE predictions for super-luminous galaxies at high redshifts (the sub-millimeter galaxies):

Sky & Telescope: Making the Brightest, Rarest Galaxies

The Verge: Computer models reveal how the Universe’s biggest and brightest Galaxies Formed

Space.com: Mystery Solved? How the Universe’s Brightest-Ever Galaxies Formed

LA Times: Why were some ancient galaxies so bright?

Vice.com: Why the Brightest Galaxies Create 1,000 Times More Stars than Ours

Science: Why are Some Galaxies a Thousand Times Brighter than the Milky Way?

Popular Mechanics: We’ve finally discovered What’s Driving the Most Impossibly Bright Galaxies in the Universe

Additional FIRE coverage:

Before It’s News: Project FIRE Uses Star Feedback to Explain Less Massive Galaxies

Caltech News: Galaxies on FIRE: Star Feedback Results in Less Massive Galaxies (also at Science Daily)

Boing-Boing: Making Galaxies on a Supercomputer (also Scimplified blog, Nature World News, IFL Science, Neuz)

Northwestern News: Galaxies on FIRE: Stellar Feedback Explains Cosmologically Inefficient Star Formation

Northwestern News: Feedback-regulated Star formation and the FIRE Simulations

CITA News: The FIRE collaboration: Harnessing Computing to Observe Galaxy Formation over the Life-Span of the Universe

Science Daily: Dark Matter dominates in nearby Dwarf Galaxy

Daily Mail: Watch the Milky Way being Born in a Few Seconds

Daily Galaxy: Milky Way's Nearby Dark-Matter Hotspot

New Simulations Provide Clues to Galaxies Mass: picked up at Yahoo, WebIndia, NewsPoint, ZeeNews, Business Standard, Stranger than Science Fiction, Business Insider, Dark Matter Dark Energy, Carnegie Observatories, Science Daily

Simons Foundation News: New Institute Pushes the Boundaries of Big Data

The Evolving Planet: Study Suggests Supernovas Destroyed Galaxies Near Milky Way



Coverage of our work on the origin of the LIGO black holes:

Scientific American: Scientists Run Stellar Autopsies on Colliding Black Holes



Coverage of our predictions of “Totally Metal Stars” and how Dust and Gas interact in Star Formation:

I recommend checking out this very descriptive and excellent writeup on the physics arXiv blog

SciShow Space YouTube Program (video)

A New Class of Stars is Made Entirely of Metal: picked up by io9, Fark, Slashdot, Reddit, Science Alert, Nautilus

Time: Millions of Stars May Be Made of Nothing But Metal

Beyond Earthly Skies: A New Class of Totally Metal Stars

Astrobites: Dust Does Not Follow Gas



Coverage of our work on the formation and growth of Super-Massive Black Holes:

“A Quasar in Every Galaxy?”: A writeup by Robert Irion in a special issue of Sky & Telescope, available here and here

An interview with me on Korean radio (TBS eFM’s “This Morning”), discussing our work on black holes in the context of the recent movie “Interstellar,” can be listened to here or searched for here

A television interview with me on this work aired on NHK Japan’s Series “Cosmic Front NEXT,” in the episode “Mysers of Ancient Supermassive Black Holes” (Aired July 2, 2015). Due to rights issues, the interview can only be viewed by purchasing the DVD from NHK Japan’s website.

Science News: Lopsided Stellar Disks Help Black Holes Guzzle Gas

New Scientist: Warped Stars Feed Black Holes to Fatten them Up!

Physics.org: How Do Supermassive Black Holes Get So Big? 

A shout-out to our work in an excellent explanation of the growth of black holes on Tanya Urrutia’s blog

Science: Some additional interviewing and discussion of our work in the context of observations of galaxy clusters, in this Science Magazine news focus piece: “A Quest for Cosmic Karma”



Coverage of our work on the collisions between galaxies:


Simons Foundation News: Colliding Galaxies Move from the Lab to the Movies (with videos)

Science Magazine, News Focus: Coming Into Focus: A Universe Shaped by Violent Galaxies

Sky & Telescope: A companion to this is the set of simulation movies: “Galaxy Merger Movies” 



Miscellaneous Coverage:

Astrobites: An interview at AAS 228



© Philip Hopkins 2015