Studies & Degrees in Astrophysics
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Astrophysics, one of the branches of Astronomy, is the science that aims to determine and understand the roots, changes, properties, present state, and future evolution of celestial objects. Electormagnetic Radiation and Spectroscopy (which is the study of spectra - a series of observed colors) and others similar or linked to such tools are the mainly responsible for making this study possible. Apart from that, theoretical models are designed to aid in the interpretation of data. Such models are useful in explaining in radiation-emitting mechanisms, which in turn, help in understanding the properties and behavior of celestial bodies under study. With radiation measurements, it is now possible to determine even the properties and states at the atomic level of objects millions of miles away. Moreover, physical laws, such as those under Thermodynamics, to cite one, include key concepts applied to gain essential knowledge in this field.
The Astrophysics program is mainly concerned with the study of (1) the stars and (2) the universe. A short discussion of each follows:
Stars are among the most popular objects of study among the celestial objects. Although a lot of knowledge about the peculiar behavior of these celestial bodies has already been established and understood, it is already a given fact that even the common man can not help but be fascinated just looking at the display of such wonders scattered on a blanket of sky. This is why stars are continuously considered objects of extreme curiosity and are still being observed and further studied. The study of stars includes determining luminosity (in terms of radius), surface temperature, and the like. Physical laws like the laws of Thermal Radiation are mostly applied in this area.
The study of the universe, or more commonly called Cosmology, basically aims to comprehend the composition and arrangement of the universe. Modern cosmology is founded on the discoveries of renowned personalities like Edwin Hubble, an American astronomer, about the galaxies moving away from each other at specific velocities in 1929; Alexander Friedmann, a Russian astronomer, who established that the composition of the universe is consistent everywhere; and Albert Einstein, with his general theory of relativity, actually paved the way for the ascertaining the Big Bang Theory.
Although there are innumerable theories established about the universe, one thing remains uncertain and that is if the universe will continue to expand and live on ceaselessly. Such debates are centered on the concern that the gravitational force present in the universe will not be able to contain the amount of mass that apparently exists in the universe, hence, the continuous expansion. Black holes are one of the most interesting topics of such debates in the study of the cosmos.
Graduates of the Astrophysics study have moved on to a number of areas to establish their careers. Some have opted to go into research. A lot of research institutes and organizations, both public and private, are in need of research scientists. With the training and academic background obtained in the Astrophysics program, graduates are more than welcome in these areas. Others choose to stay in the academe to take up Master’s and Doctorate programs, and afterward become professors in universities. Still others utilize their expertise in technology and go into the computer industry to create programs and models to aid in interpretation of astronomical data.