Our current understanding is that the Universe started with the Big Bang and has been expanding ever since. It consists of a small amount of normal matter (5%), a larger amount of so-called dark matter (25%), and dark energy (70%). Small variations in the density and the force of gravity led to the formation of collapsed structures, essentially galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Since the largest structures in the universe are clusters of galaxies, understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is intimately connected to cosmology.

The ESO 338-IG04 galaxy

At the Department of Astronomy, we study observations from optical to radio wavelengths combined with modelling to understand the dynamics and nuclear activity of spiral galaxies, including the Galactic Centre. We work on the kinematics as well as star formation histories of starburst galaxies and blue compact galaxies (BCGs), Lyman-alpha emission and Lyman continuum escape from galaxies, and gravitational lensing studies to explore dark matter halos. Using supercomputers we model the effects of the first galaxies on the intergalactic medium, the so-called reionization of the universe. Furthermore, we develop models for predicting the rates of different types of supernovae as a function of the cosmic star formation rate, and lead parts of a large programme aimed at detecting high redshift supernovae, and we explore the nature of dark energy, mainly by the use of type Ia supernovae.

The researchers at the department are collaborating with the physics departments at Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) within the Oskar Klein Centre.

Research staff:
Kambiz Fathi, assistant professor, docent
Claes Fransson, professor
Matthew Hayes, researcher
Per Olof Lindblad, professor emeritus
Garrelt Mellema, professor
Magnus Näslund, associate professor
Aage Sandqvist, professor emeritus
Jesper Sollerman, professor
Erik Zackrisson, assistant professor, docent
Göran Östlin, professor
Angela Adam, PostDoc
Emily Freeland, PostDoc
Juan Gonzalez, PostDoc
Lucia Guaita, PostDoc
Suman Majumdar, PostDoc
Jens Melinder, PostDoc
Nina Nowak, PostDoc

Research students:
Saghar Asadi
Florent Duval
Hannes Jensen
Roland Karlsson
Kai Yan Lee
Johannes Puschnig
Thöger Rivera Thorsen
Claes-Erik Rydberg
Andreas Sandberg

For contact information, visit the List of staff.