Astrophysics and Space Science Theory Group
TThe Astrophysics and Space Science Theory Group (ASSTG) within CASPER conducts research in a variety of areas and consists of faculty, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students. Current research topics include complex plasmas, meso- and nanoscale physics, gravitoelectrodynamics, protoplanetary / protostellar evolution, grain charging in dense and tenuous dusty plasmas, grain coagulation in nebular clouds, ordered grain lattice formation within dusty plasmas, wave propagation through ordered and disordered dusty plasmas as well as numerical modeling of hypervelocity impacts. See the ASSTG Research pages for more information about the group's activities. If you are interested in research in this area, contact Prof. Matthews, associate director of CASPER.
Early Universe Cosmology and Strings Group
The Early Universe Cosmology and Strings Group, formed by Dr. Gerald Cleaver, within CASPER conducts research in a variety of gravitational physics, cosmology and high energy astrophysics areas. Superstring theory is presently the only known framework providing a consistent theory of quantum gravity, allowing it to probe the earliest moments of the universe. In this sense, superstring theory may be thought of as a window to the Creation itself. Members of the EUCOS group are currently examining the construction of phenomenologically realistic superstring models, their dual models, and M-theory embeddings. Such models should yield as their low energy effective field theory either the Standard Model or the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model. This connection creates a bridge between EUCOS and the Baylor elementary particle theory group. More information on this work may be found at the EUCOS research page.
The 'second string revolution' has opened up numerous new directions in string/M-theory research, many of which are cosmological in nature. Cosmology and quantum gravity are only two of the exciting areas presently being investigated within EUCOS. Dr. Anzhong Wang, who recently arrived from Brazil, is investigating many aspects of gravitation and quantum cosmology, using tools from general relativity, superstring theory and M-Theory. Recent work includes investigations of black holes, gravitational collapse and critical phenomena in Einstein's theory of gravity in N dimensions, quantum effects in critical collapse, braneworld scenarios and brane cosmology, and physical interpretations of solutions of Einstein's field equations.