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Nascent topics.

  1. Dec 19, 2006 #1
    Which are some of the most nascent and/or least researched subjetcs in observational astrophysics??

    how about Quasars and Pulsars?? So far i know it needs top quality instrumentation to get info about them......can anyone tell me about the "hot topics" in astrophysics in the near future. Dark matter perhaps??

    replies anyone please?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2006 #2
    It is anticipated that in the next year or decade gravitational waves will be detected, so gravitational astronomy will surely (in the sense that failure to detect will have similarly exciting repercussions) drive some exciting physics.

    GR theorists tend to abhor dark matter and dark energy, in total contradiction with astronomers, and the very names of those subjects make them "hot topics".

    No idea which "least researched subjetcs" might be interesting?
  4. Dec 19, 2006 #3
    Thanks very much.

    Other opinions welcome.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  5. Dec 23, 2006 #4
    what about DARK MATTER??

    we havent even found it even.
  6. Dec 23, 2006 #5


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    There are lots of topics. The first that comes to my mind is radio astronomy and structure formation. Take a look for example to the LOFAR site.

    Due to its possible implications on quantum gravity, gamma ray astronomy (GLAST, EGRET, etc.) and ultra-energetic cosmic rays (Pierre Auger, AGASA, etc.) will be also important. The first observations may reveal deviations of the dispersion relations of photons. The second may shed new light about the GZK limit.

    Neutrino experiments (Cerenkov radiation, like AMANDA) will tell us about dark matter and may be about new physics. The search for the weakly interacting particle of dark matter under mountains (CDMSII, ArDM, etc.) will continue and may be a highlight in the next years. Moreover, supernovae Ia surveys will shed light on the equation of state of dark energy.

    This is only a part of the whole story that reflects my own interests. There are also other very interesting topics like quasars, black holes, etc. and other topics may have a breakthrough in the next years like exoplanets, astrobiology, etc.
  7. Dec 26, 2006 #6
    In astrophysics i think that quasars are still attracting but dark energy and matter will keep us busy too,the research on dark matter is not at that much rate,but with better instrumentation we can have the best out of quasars.
    nature of grb's and primordial hypernovae,existence of fat stars in early universeare too very exciting.

    In planetary science, i think tilt of planets and existence of plutinos and asteroids at different positions,nature of comets are going to be year's most exciting.
  8. Dec 26, 2006 #7


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    Neutron stars as tests of GR will continue to be 'hot', esp when LIGO (etc) detects an inspiral event.

    I'm not sure if cosmology fits within your definition of astrophysics, but observational cosmology will continue to be hot for a long time ... perhaps the next big surge of interest will be when Planck starts returning data.

    As has already been noted, quasars will continue to be hot, both observationally and theoretically (solving full GR MHD equations may keep theoreticians happy for decades yet!).

    The evolution of galaxies is a hot topic - we are starting to get some good observational constraints, but the early period is still pretty much a blank slate.

    We have already seen some glimpses of the Dark Ages (and the era of re-ionisation), but the next decade or three will see a vast increase in good observational data on this period, especially with the SKA and JWST coming on-stream.

    Closer to home, the details of star formation, including the formation of planetary systems, will get filled in, with observations and theory advancing together; curiously, MHD may play key role here too!
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