About

The astrophysics group is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University.  Our  faculty  and  research associates are engaged in cutting edge research into astronomical phenomena through theoretical, experimental, and observational investigations which span the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to high-energy gamma rays.  Particular areas of interest of our faculty  include plasma astrophysics, magnetohydrodynamics,  jets and gamma-ray bursts, galaxy evolution and clusters, active galaxies,  supernova remnants,  dark matter, and pulsars.  We also maintain close ties with planetary astronomers and space physicists in Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Purdue is currently a partner in the VERITAS telescope array, which measures very high energy gamma-ray radiation from astrophysical phenomena using a ground-based Cherenkov imaging technique.  We are also a member of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope consortium, which is constructing an 8.4 m telescope to survey the entire visible sky every week in multiple wavebands, and the XENON experiment, which is pursuing the first ever laboratory detection of dark matter particles.  The MOJAVE program is a large Key Project on the Very Long Baseline Array to investigate jets powered by black holes in distant galaxies. Our researchers make extensive use of Purdue’s world-leading computational facilities  for numerical simulations and data analysis, as well as the many on-campus fabrication facilities for instrument development, including the Silicon Microstrip and Pixel Laboratory and Purdue Physics Instrument shop.  Our faculty and their research groups are heavy users of national facilities such as the Jansky Very Large Array,  Very Long Baseline Array, Chandra X-ray Observatory, XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory, and the Hubble Space Telescope.  

Our department offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses, in astronomy and astrophysics, which satisfy requirements toward B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in physics with astronomy emphasis.  In addition to several 200- and 300- level astronomy courses, senior undergraduates are able to choose from a range of  500-level graduate astrophysics courses which count towards an astronomy minor B.Sc. degree.  Our degree programs provide our students with excellent training and experience to pursue successful careers in astronomy and physics research, teaching, and industry.