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Astrophysics Group - Research Interests and Current Projects

Renewable Energy at UWC: Silicon-based Solar CellsHow do we power the country? Nanotechnology at UWC State-of-Art Micro-TechnologyUse nanotechnology to improve the creation of more conduction electrons by changing the structure of the materialElectron Microscope: View material with atomic resolution Astronomy at UWC$2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array, a 3000-dish radio telescope Nuclear Astrophysics at UWCiThemba LABS and SALTNuclear Physics at UWCNuclear Energy at UWCFusion energy (the future): Now and what it could be.Environmental Nuclear Physics at UWCExcellence in Teaching

The Astrophysics Group in the Physics Department is dynamic and rapidly growing, with 6 staff members, 11 post-doctoral researchers and 11 Phd/Msc students. The Group has won substantial funding from the South African SKA (Square Kilometre Array) Project. Group research is in observational and theoretical astronomy and cosmology, covering topics such as: stellar modelling, galaxy evolution, hydrodynamical N-body simulations of galaxies and gas, multiwavelength survey science, large-scale clustering in radio surveys, dark energy and modified gravity. The group is also involved in many of the projects planned for MeerKAT, the pathfinder telescope for the SKA, and in current projects on the South African Large Telescope (SALT), South Africa’s 10m-class optical telescope. Group members also participate in a number of international experiments.


Adjunct Professor Catherine Cress

Cress founded the Astrophysics Group and now is based at the Centre for High Performance Computing. Research interests: Large-scale clustering in radio surveys; galaxy evolution. Involved in MeerKAT and SALT surveys.


SARChI Professor Romeel Dave

Dave holds the SARChI Chair in Multi-wavelength Astronomy, based at UWC but also joint with the SA Astronomical Observatory and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Research interests: N-body and hydrodynamical simulations of gas and galaxies, and their relation to observations.


SKA Visiting Professor Matt Jarvis

Jarvis is a Professor in Astrophysics at the University of Oxford. Research interests: Heavily involved in developing the science case for the next generation of radio telescopes such as the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array.  Also leads one of the six public surveys to be conducted on the new VISTA near-infrared telescope.


Professor (emeritus) Dave Kilkenny

Research interests: Pulsating stars, specifically pulsating hot subdwarfs.


SKA/SARChI Professor Roy Maartens

Maartens holds one of 5 national SKA/SARChI Chairs. Research interests: The generation and evolution of cosmological perturbations that lead to large-scale structure; Dark energy and modified gravity models;  using observations, including HI surveys, to test models of the Universe.


Dr Enrico Olivier

Research interests:  late stages of stellar structure and evolution, in particular Asymptotic Giant Branch stars; stellar oscillations, both linear analysis and nonlinear simulation; observational cosmology.


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