MPE : Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy

Principle research areas of the Infrared and Submillimeter Group include:

  • investigations of galactic nuclei (including our own Galaxy)
  • Evolution of galaxies
  • studies of star formation and the (dense) interstellar medium

Within this framework, we are pursuing the key issues of the existence and formation of black holes in galactic nuclei, the nature of the power source and the evolution of (ultra)luminous infrared galaxies, gas dynamics and the fueling of active galactic nuclei, the properties and evolution of starburst galaxies and the starformation sites within them, and the interaction of dense interstellar gas with radiation, winds, and outflows. Our studies of the local universe are combined with observations of high redshift galaxies, aiming for a better understanding of the evolution of galaxies, their kinematics, star formation, and nuclear activity. For a look at some of our recent results in these areas, click here and see our publications.

Our approach is to tackle a few key science issues on a broad front with observations and novel instruments across the entire infrared, submillimeter, and millimeter wavelength band (1µm to a few mm). In many cases we have aimed for a detailed physical understanding of a few representative sources, rather than a statistical approach. For this purpose, spectroscopy and high resolution imaging and imaging spectroscopy have been our main tools. We are basically an experimental physics group with a team and key project approach.

Of course, much of this research would be impossible without instruments built in-house by the Group's project teams for observations on ground-based, airborne, and space-based telescopes.

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