Andrew Benson

George Ellery Hale Distinguished Scholar in Theoretical Astrophysics

The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science



I am the George Ellery Hale Distinguished Scholar in Theoretical Astrophysics at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science. My research is described in more detail here and my publications are available here. Current projects on which I'm working, together with available projects for prospective postdocs are listed here.
My research program centers around the process of galaxy formation, with a particular emphasis on formlating a coherent picture of the many different aspects of this problem. I have developed a new model of galaxy formation, Galacticus, which is now available to the community as an open source project. The approach blends both analytic understanding and significant number-crunching utilizing in-house and external compute clusters. Galacticus is being used by many research groups to study everything from sub-mm galaxies and galaxy clusters through to the host galaxies of type Ia supernovae. These are just a few examples of the areas of galaxy formation science that it can address.

Sub-mm Universe Fly-Through

This is a movie showing a fly through of 9000 Mpc (about 30 billion lightyears) of simulated Universe containing sub-mm galaxies. The properties of galaxies (shown vastly enlarged for clarity) were computed by the Galacticus model, and positioned within the cosmic web provided by the Millennium Simulation. The starlight of each galaxy was raytraced through the galaxy's dust content using the Grasil code. The result is a collection of almost 40,000 galaxies with predicted luminosities at sub-mm wavelengths. Galaxy sizes scale with their luminosity, while color represents the relative amounts of flux received from each galaxy at 850 and 350 microns. This simulation, corresponding to 1 square degree of sky, was constructed to facilitate planning of observing strategies with the CCAT telescope. See more on the Galacticus Channel on YouTube.



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Page last updated Saturday, July 5, 2014.