How interstellar molecular clouds collapse and form new stars is a key question in astrophysics. At Leeds, we are particularly interested in the birth of the most massive stars. These play an important role in the evolution of galaxies by injecting large amounts of enriched material and energy back into the interstellar medium and powering spectacular phenomena such as H II regions, stellar winds and supernovae.
Observational investigations into star formation at Leeds cover wavebands from optical, infrared and millimetre through to the radio. High angular resolution information is sought both directly through the use of interferometry and adaptive optics, and indirectly via velocity-resolved spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry. Theoretical research in the group employs sophisticated in-house hydrodynamical codes and simulations of stellar feedback. The theorists in the group have close relations and regularly collaborate with colleagues in Applied Mathematics.
Below are several areas of star formation which we are currently investigating: