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Research Areas

The Astronomy Program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at SNU is actively engaged in a variety of research programs, including Cosmology, Extragalactic Astronomy, Our Galaxy, Interstellar Medium, Stars and the Sun. Research efforts include both observational and theoretical aspects.

Cosmology

Research interests are concentrated on the nature of the origin and evolution of the universe. Theoretical predictions of the large-scale structure of the universe and cosmic the formation mechanism of galaxies are made for variou cosmological models. The observational studies of discount gravitational lenses are carried out to understand the nature of the dark matter, the dark enegy, and the cosmological structure of the universe.

Extragalactic Astronomy

The evolution of galaxies is studied by examining the properties of faint galaxies, and the light variation due to gravitational lenses is monitored by an international collaboraton. Numerical simulations of evolution and dynamics are performed using various techniques. Globular cluster systems in spiral galaxies and giant elliptical galaxies are studied in order to understand the formation processes of galaxies. Studies of supernovae in nearby Abell clusters of galaxies are carried out, and the variability of Active Galactic Nuclei is monitored.

Our Galaxy

The main goal in the Galaxy research is to understand the evolutionary history of the Galaxy. The globular and open clusters are studied both observationally and theoretically for such purposes. Chemical evolution of elements in our Galaxy and external galaxies are studied in detail as it sheds light on the history of star formation. The large-scale structure of the Galaxy is investigated by comparing molecular emission data and numerical simulation results. Period-Luminosity relations and multiperiodicity are examined for short-period variables both inside and outside star cluster.

Interstellar Medium

The ISM (Interstellar Medium) group is engaged in observational and theoretical studies of the physical characteristics, global distribution,and phase transitions of the diffuse interstellar medium. Research on dense molecular clouds and star formation is also active. Large-scale hydrodynamic and magnetoydrodynamic simulations using supercomputers are carried out in order to understard the evolution of supernova remnants, the gravitational collapse of interstellar clouds, and collisions between interstellar clouds.

Stars and the Sun

The stellar group is engaged in studies of physical properties of stars including the Sun. These studies include in-depth exploration of the formation and evolution of normal stars and the understanding of the physical nature of exotic objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, supernovae, pulsars, and black holes. The solar group concentrates on studies of solar activity and associated violent magnetohydrodynamic phenomena taking place on the surface of the Sun. The surface activity is monitored and analyzed to understand how such violent events are generated and how these events can affect the space enviroment around the earth and eventually life on earth.

Astronomy Program, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University , 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
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