The Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing is one of the premier research Astronomy centres in Australia. Research interests include galaxies, globular clusters, pulsars, stars and planets, supermassive black holes, Big Bang cosmology and scientific visualisation.
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Over the last century, our understanding of the Universe has grown by leaps and bounds whilst posing new questions and testing our very fundamental knowledge and understanding of things around us. To answer these profound questions, scientists are planning ever more ambitious projects driven by human curiosity, to explore the unknown and comprehend our place in the vast senseless space. The Australian federal government in 2016-17 provided AUD 10 billion in support of science research and experiment development while NASA and ESA combined, plans to invest USD 25+ billion in 2017. Why is it important for governments to spend substantial amounts of money in fundamental science research? What are the benefits for the average tax payer, from governments investing billions of dollars into space science? How has our everyday lives been influenced by such investments? Together we shall discuss and explore how our investments in science has improved our way of living, and what the future may hold in store for us. Pre…
The whole Universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started. Wait... is the Bang Bang true and how do we know? In this talk Associate Professor Emma Ryan-Weber from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing will describe the observational evidence for Big Bang Cosmology and how it sets the initial conditions for every atom in the Universe. The talk is especially suitable for year 11 teachers and students studying VCE Physics Unit 1, area of study 3 "What is matter and how is it formed". Presented on 10 February 2017.
In the last 50 years astronomers have come to realise that there exists an invisible type of mass in the Universe, outweighing all of the atoms in every star, planet and person five times over. It' responsible for holding the galaxy together, for making the galaxies form where they do in the cosmos and is our best guide to physics beyond the Higgs boson, aka the 'god' particle. Yet astronomers are no nearer to understanding its nature. Using a combination of baby universes created on Australia's most powerful telescopes, next generation telescopes like the Australian SKA Pathfinder, and a wine glass, Alan will explore what we know about the invisible and how Australia may uncover the most sought after particle in physics with the world's first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere, SABRE. Presented on 17 June 2016.
Ryan-Weber leads the intergalactic medium research group at Swinburne. Her science focuses on detecting elements heavier than Helium in absorption at very high redshifts (12 billion years ago). To achieve this we use near-infrared spectroscopy towards high redshift quasars on the world's largest telescopes including Keck (Hawaii) and the VLT (Chile). She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2004, spent 5 years at the University of Cambridge and commenced her position at Swinburne in 2009. Ryan-Weber is one of three Swinburne CIs for the CAASTRO-3D Centre of Excellence. Recorded on 10 February 2017.
Knowing what you want for your future, what you want to do, and who you want to be is never easy. Hear the stories of six of our very own Swinburne staff as they look back on their own times of discovery, uncertainty and clarity and they reveal their own moment of 'knowing'.
A pair of massive black holes spiral together and merge. This artist's impression includes gravitational lensing (magnifying and distorting) of the background light by the black hole's strong gravitational field, the creation and gravitational slingshot ejection of hypervelocity stars, and the capture of stars by the black holes with occasional tidal disruption events (TDEs) in which some of these stars are torn apart and a flare of emission from their hot interiors is seen before they cross the black hole's event horizon. The collective removal of stars, predominantly by the binary black holes ejecting them from the centre of the galaxy where they themselves reside, can result in large partially depleted galaxy cores that astronomers have observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Black hole merging events are a known source of gravitational waves, ripples in the gravitational force field that permeates the universe. The first such radiation was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observ…
This one-day multi-disciplinary event brought together Swinburne staff, researchers, PhD students, software developers, and project managers involved in e-Research activities across the University.
In this video Professor Matthew Bailes discusses the capabilities of Swinburne University's 'Green Machine', its newest supercomputer.Through the power of the Green Machine, Swinburne Astronomers have made exciting discoveries, like the diamond planet.
The 'Swinburne Story' series will take an inside view into the journey of inspirational members of the Swinburne community who share their career story and personal trajectories. In the first instalment of this video series, Professor of Astrophysics, Sarah Maddison talks about her life and career journey and shares her thoughts on current projects, being a female leader and following your dreams.
How do astronomers reconstruct the entire history of the universe, including the many hundreds of millions of galaxies and billions of stars it contains, inside a supercomputer? This talk will show you! Recorded on 13 February 2015.