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Reseach proposals

  1. Nov 6, 2004 #1
    hi, I haven't been up to date on all the latest reseach going on in the fields of astronomy/cosmology. Could someone update me on what type of reseach is going on and what advancements they have made? Thanks. Last I heard, astronomers were studying the pictures from Hubble's ultra deep field picture and was trying to view the first creations of the big bang. What observations have they made? Also, what are the many reseach proposals asked by astronomers today?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2004 #2
    There's the problem of the neutrino anomalies, it seems that the solution is the fact that the neutrinos change of flavour. I knew the existence of 3 different anomalies (the solar, the atmospheric and the LSND), but this paper also cites the NuTeV anomaly
    "Neutrino anomalies"

    Problematic also is the GZK paradox (the appearance of cosmic rays surpassing the GZK limit). Here's a paper
    "Gravi-Burst: Super-GZK Cosmic Rays from Localized Gravity"

    There's the problem of determining the nature of dark energy. there's a gazillion of different models of dark energy. This recent paper is about one of them, the modified Chaplygin gas
    "Large-scale inhomogeneities in modified Chaplygin gas cosmologies"
  4. Nov 17, 2004 #3
    what about research done in the University level these days? I dont think many professors/students will have the money & time to be researching these popular topics.
  5. Nov 17, 2004 #4


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    Here is a link to CiteBase's search function. Just type in the keywords you're interested in and it will find relevant papers. Citebase is nice, because it allows you to browse the papers that each paper cites as its references, and also allows you to browse papers that have cited the paper you are interested in. Using CiteBase you can very quickly sort through relevant papers and find ones that suit your interests. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darned nice.

    http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin/search [Broken]

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he will drink beer and lie constantly about the one that got away. :smile:
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  6. Nov 18, 2004 #5


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    The search for quantum gravity is pretty much the cutting edge anymore. Two main approaches are currently in fashion... string theory and loops. Quantum loop gravity appears to be making more progress.
  7. Nov 18, 2004 #6


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    I think there are lots of topics. I will add some, as an example:

    - Theoretical aspects and computational aspects (simulations) of large scale structure formation and galaxy formation.

    - The study of the interaction of the interstellar medium with stars (star formation, cooling of bubbles, stellar winds, galactic fountains; see e.g. CHIPS mission).

    - The study of x-ray emissions of intergalactic medium and intracluster medium, for the estimation of cosmological parameters and the identification of barionic dark matter (XMM Newton, Chandra,...).

    - The study of the reionization epoch and how the protogalaxies interacted with the intergalactic medium (see e.g. Hubble Deep Field).
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2004
  8. Nov 18, 2004 #7
    These are wonderful ideas. It seems that many research scientists are undergoing research in these fields. What about University professors?
  9. Nov 18, 2004 #8


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    If you will pursue the papers and look at the affiliations of the authors, you will see that many of them cite associations with universities. These may be professors, assistant professors, graduate students, visiting researchers with grant money...you'll have to track that down yourself. I sense from the tone of your questions that you think that real research is not being done in academic environments...is that true?
  10. Nov 18, 2004 #9
    " I sense from the tone of your questions that you think that real research is not being done in academic environments...is that true?"

    no, just not as intense as say Fermilab. I wanted to know the extent of research that graduate students undergo, since they don’t not have the same resources as professional researchers. I wanted to know how extensive and in depth their research was and what kinds of research they are undergoing.
  11. Nov 22, 2004 #10


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    I think you'll find that astronomy and astrophysics grad students - esp those doing PhDs - do much the same sort of research as grad students everywhere ... whatever their thesis advisors/professors/research grants/etc permit them to do!

    One of the really, really cool things about astronomy is the huge amount of publicly available data ... and much of it is absolutely cutting edge (e.g. HUDF, SDSS, 2MASS, WMAP). This allows anyone - inc all PF readers - to do considerable 'at the coalface' research themselves! (When's the last time a 'commoner' was able to do that? Back in Galileo's time?).

    Of course, there's the small matter of being sufficiently au fait with the relevant physics, being up to speed with the current state of the particular part of astronomy that takes your fancy, having the discipline to write - for yourself, if not others - a clear, do-able research program, ensuring that you have enough computer horse-power to do the data analysis, .... :smile:

    Did you have a particular project in mind?
  12. Nov 23, 2004 #11
    I would love to when I grow up. Still in high school :smile:

    "publicly available data ... and much of it is absolutely cutting edge (e.g. HUDF, SDSS, 2MASS, WMAP)" ?confused?

    What does a reseach project need to have? Does it need to be able to prove something? Or can it be used to verify something?

    The current state of the universe according to cosmic triangle says that the universe is flat. What does it mean when they say that the universe is flat? And what does the cosmic traingle predict the future, or end, of the universe will be?
  13. Nov 23, 2004 #12


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    hi! all
    i am also interested to know the answer to- what kind or what field of astronomy/cosmology can a person work who is only connected to the world with a pentium 4 processor, perhaps a few good books and of course just a pencil and paper-may be general theory of gravitation might suit him......i dont know someone tell me....
  14. Nov 23, 2004 #13


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    Hi UrbanXrisis and rv!

    There are plenty of good introductory books to astronomy and cosmology, you may find them in your local school or public libraries.

    You will also find much good stuff on the internet, however you will also find a lot of rubbish so be careful. You will find many good links elsewhere on these Forums.

    You can progress to more advanced texts as your understanding of physics and maths grows, So concentrate on those subjects at school and college and keep your interest motivated. It is a fascinating and rapidly changing field and mind expanding too!

    All the best,

  15. Nov 23, 2004 #14
    There are many places where one can find about the unsolved problems and current research topics in astrophysics & cosmology. The book "Unsolved problems in astrophysics" by Ostriker and Bachall is very interesting.


    There are many good review articles which might be helpful .

    1. Facing the Millennium1 MALCOLM LONGAIR

    2. A Sober Assessment of Cosmology at the New Millennium

    3 A View of the Future as Seen from the Past

    4. Research at the Interface of Astronomy and Physics
    P.J. E. PEEBLES AND D. T. WILKINSON http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/PASP/journal/issues/v112n775/200099/200099.html

    the main unsolved problems are

    1.Most of the ordinary matter is not in the form of stars, but is dark - what is it
    2.How do planets form?
    3.How do massive black holes form ?
    4.What is the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays? and on and on.
    5.What is the origion of primordial magnetic field ?
    6.What are the physical processes and phenomena associated with magnetic field in the early universe ?
    What are dark matter and dark energy and what are their distribution in space and time ?
    7.Do primordial gravitational waves exist ?
    8.Do ultrahigh energy cosmic rays have cosmological origin ?
    9.When were and how did the first object form ?
    10.Inflationary paradigm solved some problems which I will discuss below. It predict three observations, flatness of universe, quantum origin of fluctuations which developed and became today's structures like galaxies and clusters of galaxies and gravity wave. First two has been observed but third one is still to confirmed.

    following is a great link where leading physicits sorted out the most important problems for the millinium


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  16. Nov 23, 2004 #15


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    cosmoboy, the review articles require a password to get to www.journals.uchicago.edu. but in the feynmanphysics etc i read about the 10 unsolved problems. thanks
    to me most of them sounded pretty vague!!
  17. Nov 23, 2004 #16


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    HUDF = Hubble Ultra-Deep Field; SDSS = Sloan Digital Sky Survey; WMAP = Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Project; etc ... ie surveys or cutting edge projects/astronomical telescopes/instruments. For all of these, the data are available to anyone - you just need to know where to find it (and how to obtain it; even the smallest images are often 100MB or more in size!). Needless to say, what you get as even the processed ('cleaned') image from Hubble (say) contains far, far more information than the 100KB or so JPEG file you see on many websites.
    Others have already answered this very well, so just one small extra comment: the first and sometimes hardest part of a research project is to state its intended objective (or, the question it seeks to answer). This is counter-intuitive to many people who've never actually DONE science, but often it's very difficult to ask a good question. Why? Many reasons, including: must be precise enough (you can't answer vague questions), needs to relate clearly to what's already known (no sense in finding you've simply done the same work someone else did two decades ago!), should relate to some body of existing or proposed theory (similar to the last remark), is likely to be answered (often is the bulk of a research proposal or description - how will you go about finding the answer, and why you think your approach is likely to succeed), will probably be answered unambiguously (no point in doing all the work only to find what you found doesn't advance the field in any significant way!).
  18. Nov 24, 2004 #17
    The main research in cosmology is going in floowing areas:

    1. Large scale structure of the universe:-
    The main problems are
    . Is universe really homogenious and isotroic ? ; I mean to find the scales above which
    we can take universe to be homogeneious.
    . How galaxy are formed ?
    . What is the topology of universe ; this question is basically related to the size of universe.

    . Most of the matter in universe is not visible it is dark . What it is dark matter.

    . Do galaxy distribution is same as dark matter distribution ? (bias)
    . From observation is has been proved that the expansion of the universe is accelerating ; there i is a mysterious energy that is responsible for it. What this energy (dark energy ) is ?
    There are two main fields which are exploring few of these questions .

    a) Galaxy survey :-
    There are various groups which are measuring the distribution of galaxies in the universe.
    These studies envolve measuring the positions of galaxies on sky and their redshift (which is a rough measure of radial distance ). These observations can be carried out in any wavelength but in general people use optical light.

    SDSS : - It aims to measure the redshift and position sof about million galaxies
    2df survery : it also measure redshifts but its field if 2 degree.
    Las campaness red**** survey

    b) Gravitational N-body problems : - There are many groups that are exploiting computational power to model the structure formation in the univere. In these studies time evolution of millions of gravitating particles is studied.
    One of the main groups is virgo consortium

    2. Cosmic Microwave Bavkground Radiation :- CMBR is one of the main relics of early universe. I
    it 's temperature distribution on the sky has been observed isotropicalup to a good accuracy, however, there are small anisotropies also. Today we see this CMBR sky as it was at the time when the radiation and matter was interacted last time. Anyway the CMBR sky contains a lot of information about the early universe.
    NASA's WMAP project is one of the main projects that is involving in this

    3. Inflationary cosmology :-
    It has been postulated that universe went a rapid period of expansion. This idea has solved many problems. Presently there is no unique model of inflation. So this also important to make this idea more prescise.

    4. Supernova Ia : -
    These are considered, there is project
    This gives sufficient information about it.
    5. Gravitational waves :


    6. Neutrino astronomy :

    I will be back very soon
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2004
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