Extreme Astrophysics

The universe contains strange objects and explosions that dwarf anything we can produce in an Earth-bound laboratory. Most of these 'extremes' were only recognized as astronomy extended its reach beyond the visible light we can see, across the whole, vastly larger, spectrum, from radio to X-rays. CfA scientists study these extremes of density, temperature, magnetic field, and rapid energy release. The type of object we study include: black holes, pulsars, supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and magnetars. The results test our understanding of the underpinnings of modern physics: relativity and quantum mechanics, and challenge us to discover how such extreme objects come to exist.