Astrophysics at Oxford 2022 -2025

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


Astrophysics at Oxford spans three sub-departments and represents one of the largest research groups in the country with more than 125 researchers across all career stages. This consolidated grant proposal is for support across all of our areas of experimental and theoretical astrophysics.

We have a strong and diverse research portfolio. We are internationally recognised for our observational and theoretical work on cosmology, galaxy evolution, compact objects, astrophysical fluids and exoplanets. We furthermore develop world leading radio, sub-mm, optical and infrared instrumentation, providing new phase space that is ripe for scientific exploitation. We have invested in major international projects, which will deliver unprecedented datasets in the coming decade, including the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), and the Vera Rubin Observatory. We are also home to Zooniverse, the world's largest citizen science platform.

With this consolidated grant proposal and the research it delivers, we aim to advance the frontiers of astrophysics in all of our research areas. A large part of this effort is focussed on maximising the harvest of the large projects we have invested in for over a decade, and the tools and techniques we develop for delivering this science will be of benefit to the entire national and global astrophysics community. Amongst our science goals we seek to better understand the very earliest phases of the universe via studies of the cosmic microwave background, to probe the secrets of galaxy formation on the scale of both individual galaxies and their overall cosmic population, to test models for the production, internal physics and propagation of relativistic jets from black holes, and to observe and understand the atmospheres of extrasolar planets, that may one day be found to be the home of extraterrestrial life.

We are committed to open, reproducible science, and to public engagement which relays our discoveries and insights back to those who pay for it. To this end we endeavour to make all our scientific methods transparent, and - where possible - to make our data products publicly available. Early career researchers trained at Oxford, funded by this project, will transfer their knowledge to other sectors of our national economy. Our flagship public engagement and outreach projects include Zooniverse as well as local projects as part of STFC's Wonder initiative, and these all build off the core research which is funded by this grant.


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Ewart R (2022) Collisionless relaxation of a Lynden-Bell plasma in Journal of Plasma Physics

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García-Bernete I (2022) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Seyfert and star-forming galaxies in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Miniati F (2022) Learning transport processes with machine intelligence. in Scientific reports

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Ramírez-Pérez C (2022) CoLoRe: fast cosmological realisations over large volumes with multiple tracers in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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García-Bernete I (2022) Torus and polar dust dependence on active galactic nucleus properties in Astronomy & Astrophysics

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Bott A (2022) Insensitivity of a turbulent laser-plasma dynamo to initial conditions in Matter and Radiation at Extremes