Modern astrophysics research can be divided into two main strands: observational and theoretical. Observational astrophysics exploits telescopes to gather data about our Universe, and the advent of ever more sensitive facilities has allowed us to peer back into the distant Universe. One of the most exciting areas, and what fascinates me, is what we can learn about the formation and evolution of galaxies - the cosmic habitats of which our own Milky Way is but one of trillions. The power of computers has aided theoretical astrophysics because one can now build realistic 'toy' Universes using our best understanding of how the cosmos works. One limitation is that it is often hard to bridge the gap between computational models and the latest data because it is necessary to not only simulate the underlying astrophysics, but the observations as well, so that one can make a direct one-to-one comparison between theory and data. This project will be dedicated to performing the most exquisite simulations of actively star-forming galaxies in the distant Universe and develop new tools to make accurate predictions for the latest observational facilities, including the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. This is important to my research because it will allow me to study how the observed properties of galaxies in the real Universe actually compare to our best models. This is fundamental to our overall 'world model' because, where observations and theory disagree, it will identify potential problems with the models, allowing us to refine our understanding of the Universe.
|Effective start/end date||1/10/18 → 31/03/21|
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