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Astrophysics Research

Rendering of the Heart of a Quasar. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Drexel is a recognized leader in astrophysics research, with both students and faculty contributing to the field. Learn more about our faculty’s current research in astrophysics below.

Astrophysics Research Topics

  • Active Galactic Nuclei/Quasars
  • Compact Binary Stars
  • Cosmology
  • Designing the "Petaflops" Computer
  • Large-Scale Structure
  • Numerical Hydrodynamics
  • Parallel Computing
  • Rotational Instabilities
  • Star Clusters and Stellar Dynamics

Faculty Conducting Research in Astrophysics

Contact Specialization
David Goldberg, PhD
Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies; Professor
Disque Hall 810
Theoretical and computational cosmology, extragalactic astrophysics, gravitational lensing, popular science writing
Stephen McMillan, PhD
Department Head; Professor
Disque Hall 815
Stellar dynamics, Computations of stellar systems
Gordon T. Richards, PhD, professor of Physics, Drexel University
Professor; Chair, Faculty Senate Budget, Process, and Development (BP&D) Committee
Disque 812
Quasars, active galactic nuclei, supermassive black holes, galaxy evolution, sky surveys, infrared/X-ray/radio astronomy
Niharika Sravan, PhD
Assistant Professor
Disque 805

Machine learning; Astronomical surveys; Dynamic resource allocation; Transients; Multimessenger astronomy

Michael Vogeley
Disque Hall 811
Cosmology, Galaxy formation and evolution, Statistical analysis of large data sets, Active galactic nuclei

Current Astrophysics Research Projects

Astrophysics Research Facilities

  • The Numerical Astrophysics Facility emphasizes theoretical and numerical studies of stars, star clusters, the early universe, galaxy distributions, cosmology modeling, and gravitational lensing. The facility employs special purpose high-performance computers, such as the Gravity Pipeline Engine (GRAPE), a new Beowulf cluster (128 processors, 128G RAM, 2 TB RAID disk), and a system using Graphics Processing Units to achieve computational speeds of up to a trillion floating point operations per second.
  • The Joseph R. Lynch Observatory houses a 16-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope equipped with SBIG CCD camera.
  • Drexel faculty and students actively analyze data from the Sloan Digital Survey, which operates a 2.5-m telescope at Apache Point, New Mexico, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to be built in Chile (2020).