Research in Astrophysical and Planetary Science at UCSC takes place in four departments:

Applied Math & Statistics:

Researchers in Applied Math & Statistics use sophisticated numerical modeling to study the physics of complex systems such as the behavior of gases in fluids in the Earth and Sun.

Astronomy (and UC Observatories):

The UCSC Astronomy department spans the spectrum of astrophysics research from the Milky Way and local group, through galaxy clusters and superclusters, up to the evolution of the universe from early time.  Efforts in theory -- including large efforts in numerical modeling -- complement a wide rage of observation programs using the Hubble and Keck telescopes among many others.

Earth & Planetary Sciences:

In Earth & Planetary Sciences, researchers focus on the astrophysics of the Sun, solar system, and Earth, including the structure of planetary and stellar interiors, planetary evolution, and collisions between solar system bodies.


 The physics department's astrophysics efforts focus on high-energy and particle astrophysics, and cosmology.  Topics include the nature of dark matter, the very early universe, galaxy formation and evolution, as well as neutron stars, black holes, and accretion disks.