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Astrophysics/Sciences used in Astrophysics


What sciences are used in Astrophysics and how do you use them?

Well, it's mostly astronomy and several branches of physics.  The term astrophysics is so broad, however (as is the completely non-specific question "how do you use them?") that it encompasses many careers.  The question is way beyond the scope of this forum, so I'll try to nutshell a few of the things which fit under the huge umbrella of "astrophysics."  Clearly, observational astronomy (all types of wavelengths of light) are used to gather data.  Theoretical physics is used to calculate the extreme (or sometimes not so extreme) conditions of the matter in stellar objects.  Experimental physics is used to measure nuclear reaction rates and other properties of matter (light emissions from various gases, etc).  The data are compared to observations and theory, and a whole community of people attempts to match it all up in a consistent fashion.  I'm talking about many thousands of people, who don't always agree at first.  You see the complexity now, perhaps, of trying to answer your question.  Each of those above fields involves things like billion-dollar telescopes, massive computers, particle accelerators, and a lifetime of theoretical learning...all working together.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


Fusion, solar flares, cosmic rays, radiation in space, and stellar physics questions. Generally, nuclear-related astrophysics, but I can usually point you in the right direction if it's not nuclear-related or if it's nuclear but not astrophysics.


Just moved from being a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin into government work. Doctoral dissertation was on a reaction in CNO-cycle fusion, worked in gamma-ray astronomy in the space science division of the naval research laboratory in the high-energy space environment branch.

Government work as a physical scientist with a nuclear focus.

Ph.D. in physics, research was on nuclear fusion reactions important in stellar fusion, further work on space telescope technology.

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