The aim of astrophysics is to understand the origin, history and future of the Universe(formation and evolution of stars, planets, galaxies, galaxy clusters, etc.). Astrophysics is a fast-growing science because of the great potential it offers for new discoveries; for example, the nature of 95% of the Universe is totally unknown. Increasingly numerous and powerful ground and space-based instruments have made it possible to probe the Universe with greater angular resolution and sensitivity, through the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
At the same time, modeling, particularly by means of computer simulations, has taken a growing role in astrophysics; astrophysical problems are typically complex and call upon various fi elds within physics.
Astrophysics and the other fi elds of physics are mutually enriching. On the one hand, astrophysics relies upon other fi elds to understand the cosmos; on the other, the cosmos is a great natural laboratory harboring the most extreme conditions: the longest distances, the greatest timescales, the strongest gravitational fi elds close to black holes, particles with the highest energy, and so on… It thus enables us to go to the limits of current physics and perhaps beyond. It is one of the reasons why DAPNIA, dealing with astrophysics, particle physics and nuclear physics, was set up in 1992.
Last update : 04/25 2013 (535)