Interstellar Medium

Our research group focuses on studies of the ``Dusty Cosmos''. Our aim is to investigate the role of dust in a variety of environments from stellar nurseries in our local Galaxy to sites of intense star formation in distant galaxies. For our investigations we study the infrared radiation emitted from local and/or distant objects, that is the light from the stars that has been absorbed by intervening dust and re-emitted at longer wavelengths. The far-infrared and submillimetre spectrum is also rich in atomic, ionic and molecular lines too, and we combine all this knowledge to try and understand the properties of the Insterstellar Medium (ISM). To gather all the information we need for our research we use a variety of techniques, telescopes and satellites. Members of our group make extensive use of world facilities such as IRAM 30m, Plateau de Bure, JCMT, HERSCHEL, PLANCK and ALMA to collect unique observations that help us understand how star formation proceeds inside dusty clouds. Furthermore, we are also interested in the interplay between star formation and black holes in the centres of galaxies. A lot of emphasis is also placed on theoretical work that utilises the observations to refine and update current models. We work closely with scientists at RAL Space and other Departments within Oxford (e.g. AOPP, Chemistry) and are involved in major space missions and ground projects.