Our theory group applies the theory of General Relativity to the study of compact objects, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. We also investigate alternative gravity theories and theoretical cosmology.
Academic staff: Gareth Amery, Rituparno Goswami, Gabriel Govender, Kesh Govinder, Sudan Hansraj, Sunil Maharaj (SARChI Chair in Gravitating Systems), Subharthi Ray
Our observational cosmologists study the large scale structure of the universe; the formation and evolution of galaxies; search for signatures from the formation of the first stars; and attempt to uncover the nature of dark matter and dark energy, using millimetre and radio wavelength observations. We describe some of our ongoing projects below.
Most of the hydrogen gas in the Universe today is ionised, a process that began with the birth of the first stars during the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR). We expect to see the signature of the first stars “switching on” at FM radio frequencies – but this requires finding a site far from terrestrial signals (such as radio stations). ARC researchers are leading an effort to detect this signal from Marion Island – approximately 2000 km southeast of Cape Town, on the way to Antarctica – using the PRIZM (Probing Radio Intensity at high-Z from Marion) telescope. We are also involved in the Hydrogen Epoch Reionization Array (HERA) experiment, which is an American, South African and British collaboration to build a telescope capable of making a solid detection of the EoR red-shifted hydrogen power spectrum signature.