Independent Research Groups
MPA hosts a number of independent research groups; you can find more details on their dedicated webpages below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of research groups at the institute; the core research by the departments is structured by larger research fields with MPA scientists often being active in several areas.
Strong gravitational lensing is a powerful tool to investiagete a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. Our group focuses on deriving observational constraints on the properties of dark matter, the interplay between dark matter physics and baryonic processes and its effect on the physics of structure formation. By constraining the detailed physical properties of high-redshift lensed galaxies we also aim to quantify star formation processes and AGN activity at cosmologically-interesting epochs on sub-kpc scales. We constantly develop new approaches to gravitational lens modelling and the analysis of high-angular resolution data from optical imaging and radio/mm/sub-mm interferometeric observations.
The group studies the dark cosmos: (i) Dark Energy, which is the driving force behind the accelerated expansion of the universe; (ii) Dark Matter in galaxies and the effect it has on their formation and evolution; (iii) and Supermassive Black Holes at the centres of galaxies, to see how they and their host galaxies co-evolve. The group also observes the extremely bright side of the Universe from supernovae to see what triggers these spectacular explosions of stars. As tool they are using strong gravitational lensing, the bending of light by mass distribution that creates multiple images of background sources.
Information field theory (IFT) is information theory, the logic of reasoning under uncertainty, applied to fields. A field can be any quantity defined over some space, e.g. the air temperature over Europe, the magnetic field strength in the Milky Way, or the matter density in the Universe. IFT describes how data and knowledge can be used to infer field properties and can be used for signal processing and image reconstruction.
The focus of this group is to study the dynamical, stellar, and binary evolution of multiple-star systems such as triples, quadruples, and other hierarchical systems. Such systems are of high importance in astrophysics, since they may lead to violent astrophysical phenomena such as Type Ia supernovae and gravitational wave events. The main goal is to use both fast and detailed modeling to make statistical predictions for observations of supernovae and gravitational waves.