Astrophysicists deal with the study of the physical properties of the universe.
Neil deGrasse Tyson| Astrophysists
Ken Freeman | Astrophysicists
Brian May | Astrophysicists
The studies carried out by Astrophysicists has often involved the application of the laws of physics and chemistry to investigate the birth, life and death of planets, nebulae, stars, galaxies and other celestial bodies in the universe.
It also involves studying and investigating physical objects in the universe and how they relate with each other. Astrophysics is said to be the integration of physics and astronomy which are defined as;
Astronomy: This is said to be the branch of science that deals with the study of the physical universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomy involves the measure of the luminosities, motions, position and other properties of the physical bodies in the universe.
Physics: This is said to be the branch of science that deals with the study of energy, force, matter and energy.
This field is used to develop physical theories of small to medium sized bodies in the universe.
Cosmology: is said to be the branch of science that deals with the study of the universe as a whole.
Astrophysics defined. The field of science that uses the principles of physics and chemistry to determine the nature of astronomical objects, rather than their positions and motion in space.
This branch of science deals with the study of the sun, galaxies, interstellar medium, cosmic microwave, extrasolar planets and other stars.
This discipline deals with the study of emissions from these bodies. These emissions are observed across all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and the characteristics investigated are density, chemical composition, luminosity and temperature.
The field of astrophysicist is a very broad discipline and it makes use of concepts from a lot of the other fields of physics including thermodynamics, atomic and molecular physics, relativity, electromagnetism, nuclear and particle physics, mechanics, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics.
GOALS OF ASTROPHYSICISTS
The main goal of astrophysicists is to understand the universe and how it affects us.
This involves the investigation of physical bodies in the universe in an effort to discover how the universe works, investigate how it began and evolved and look for other life forms on planets around other stars.
Astrophysics have been inspecting the exact moment of the creation of the universe and trying to discover the full history of the stars and galaxies.
Astrophysicists in agencies like NASA, ESA and other space agencies have been trying to investigate how the the planetary bodies are formed and how the environments that are hospitable for life are developed.
They have also been searching for new life forms on other planets in this planet and the other planets in the universe, in an effort to determine if we are truly alone in the universe or if there are other sentient beings in other parts of the universe.
When we are talking about astrophysics, three broad questions often come into the discussions and they are;
How does the universe work?
Astrophysicists will probe the origin and destiny of the universe including the properties and nature of some phenomenon like dark matter, dark energy, gravity and black holes.
How did we get here?
Astrophysicists will investigate the origin and evolution of the stars, planets and galaxies that make up the entire universe.
Are we alone?
Science and investigate the planets around other stars and determine whether they are capable of harboring life.
Some of the most common programs that the astrophysicists study include;
PHYSICS OF THE COSMOS
In order to be able to really understand how the universe works, you will need to first start with the study of the very fundamental building blocks of our existence including energy, time, matter and space. This also involves the study of the behavior of these basic building blocks under the extreme physical conditions that characterize the young and evolving universe.
The Physics of the Cosmos (also commonly referred to as PCOS) makes use of concepts from various fields of physics like high-energy astrophysics, basic physics projects and cosmology focused on dealing directly with central questions based on the nature of complex astrophysical phenomena like gravitational waves, black holes, neutron stars and dark energy.
In an effort to be able to understand how the universe has evolved from its original simple state after the Big Bang into the incredible universe we see now when we look at the night sky, we will need to understand how, galaxies, planets and stars are formed over time.
The universe contains mostly hydrogen and helium, and these two elements comprise of about 98% of the visible matter in the entire universe.
The existence of the universe and everything in it (including living beings and sentient creatures) is only because of the existence of heavier elements like nitrogen, iron, carbon, oxygen, silicon and many many other heavy elements.
This program also aims to determine the amount of time it took the first generation of stars to seed the universe with heavy elements that are seen on earth now.
HOW TO BECOME AN ASTROPHYSICISTS?
The first step that you should take if you want to become an astrophysicist in the future is offer science and math courses in your high school days.
You should ensure that you offer a wide range of science courses because astrophysics usually integrate concepts of chemistry, biology and other branches of science to better understand and investigate phenomena in the universe.
The second step involved in becoming an astronaut is getting a bachelor’s degree in math, physics, electronics or astronomy. Even though a bachelor degree in astrophysics is ideal, it is also possible to take other paths to this field.
After this you should try to get a master’s degree in your studies and offer some space science courses as well as differential and integral calculus.
You should also take research opportunities in your various fields. For instance, a lot of universities often have research labs in which students are allowed to participate in discoveries and these discoveries sometimes even get published.
The last step is to get a doctorate in astrophysics. A PhD is very important and you should offer courses including mathematics, statistics, Astronomy, computer science and physics to get a broader base of knowledge.
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