Are you interested in dark energy, lensing, the Milky Way galaxy, Bayesian statistics, think we're a good looking bunch, want an excuse to work within walking distance of $6.5 Thai? Look no further ...

     

As you can see, the Gravitational Astrophysics group undertakes a diverse range of research projects. Below we list some of the projects currently on offer. If you are interested in joining the group, please contact us for further information:

   
  • Simulating the Cosmos

Cosmologists regularly simulate large chunks of the universe within a computer, watching how the forces of gravity build up the galaxies we see around us today. There are several projects available in this area, including the development of techniques to compare  the structure in synthetic universes to the observed cosmos, and the development of new approaches to the inclusion of the complex physics that governs the formation of the first stars. The projects would utilise supercomputer environments to provide extremely detailed cosmological models.

   
  • Fundamental Cosmology

 This project involves looking at the meaning and the nature of expanding space. Couched in the language of Einstein's general relativity, you will examine the various forms of the cosmological model, and what these imply for the motions of light rays and observers. The group is beginning a new look at inhomogeneous cosmologies and whether the dominant "dark energy" component is little more than a mirage

 
   
  • Gravitational Lensing

The deflection of light by massive bodies is a key prediction of Einstein's theory of relativity, and gravitational lensing has become a very important probe on the distribution of matter. Several projects are available in this area, including the development of new and novel techniques to reconstruct the true form of a gravitationally lensed source (and ultimately to reveal the distribution of dark matter), as well as simulating the gravitational lensing effect of clusters and superclusters of galaxies

 
   
  • Gravitational Microlensing

 On the smallest scales, galaxies are made up of compact objects, such as stars, planets and black holes. These can induce their own complex gravitational lensing signature which can be used to probe the extreme environments of distant quasars. In this project, you will use "ray tracing" to recreate the effects of gravitational microlensing, and consider its influence on the light we receive from the distant universe.

 
   
  • Galactic Cannibalism

It is unfortunate fact of the Universe, but big galaxies got big through the accretion of smaller systems. This "galaxies cannibalism" is still ongoing and is very apparent within our own Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. In this project, you will use state of the art of numerical simulators to recreate the ongoing collisions and understand just how they are contributing to the build-up of galaxies.

 
   
  Students with the Gravitational Astrophysics group are expected to publish several papers during their PhD research, and to produce a thesis "by publication". This places them in an excellent position to obtain research positions within Australia and in the international community, click here to see where the past member are now.

The Gravitational Astrophysics group provides a close-knit and friendly environment in which undertake your PhD research.

We look forward to hearing from you