Center for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics

The newly established Center for Astro, Particle, and Planetary Physics is an alliance of faculty and scholars dedicated to research in astronomy, astrophysics, planetary and astroparticle physics. For the next half decade, this alliance will work to provide answers to fundamental questions about the composition and evolution of our Universe. The Center seeks to tackle these questions from several points of view by combining state-of-the-art observational data from the ground and space on the nature of visible and invisible matter, with detailed theoretical and numerical modeling from planets to galaxies, and linking them together cohesively.

Researcher Clusters

The Center has four interconnected, interdisciplinary research clusters:  

Clusters encompass a range of topics, from elementary particles to planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole. These groups overlap in their science goals, in the methodology used, and in taking advantage of sharing state-of-the-art experimental and observational data.    

Above: Mock observation in the UV (Galex) and IR (Spitzer) filters of a NIHAO galaxy. Below: IFU mock observation of the HI gas in the same galaxy.
  • Cosmology

    Understanding dark matter and dark energy is one of the biggest puzzles in modern Physics. Structure and galaxy formation offer a unique venue to test different theories for the dark sector of the universe. Ambitious space missions will be launched in the next years and are expected to provide a tremendous amount of data on galaxy distribution in the universe.  The data gathered from missions needs a solid theoretical framework to be interpreted, a framework able to provide precise predictions on the expected distribution of the large scale structure of the universe for different models of the dark sector.  This cluster concentrates its efforts around three key questions:

    • How do the properties of dark matter and dark energy influence galaxy formation, and, conversely, how can we use galaxies to constrain the dark sector of the universe?
    • How can we link new emerging models for the dark sector to the observed large scale structure distribution of the universe?
    • How can the evolution of our visible universe help the pursuit for a greater understanding of the fundamental laws that govern the universe?


    Above: Gas and stellar density of a Milky Way galaxy after 1.5 Gyr from the Big Bang performed in 4 different cosmological models. The top left assumes cold dark matter, then clockwise three different model for warm dark matter with dark matter particle mass of 5, 1 and 2 keV.

    Spaced Out Podcast 

    CAP3 produced and launched Spaced Out, the University’s first-ever podcast dedicated to astronomy and space science. Aimed at promoting scientific ideas and igniting curiosity among the public about astronomy and space science, the podcast features NYUAD’s own experts in the field, as well as guest speakers from the space sector and other academic institutions. Listen below!