Students Interested in Joining OUTAP

Welcome to the Theoretical Astrophysics Group page.

The Department of Earth and Space Science (ESS) at the Graduate School of Science of Osaka University is a unique department established in 1995. Our goal is to develop new horizons in the research and education of earth and space science from a physics-based perspective. ESS consists of four major research areas: (1) Astrophysics and Planetary Science, (2) Earth and Planetary Material Sciences, (3) Extreme Material Science, and (4) Life Science. ESS also covers related disciplines such as theoretical astrophysics, X-ray astrophysics, infrared astronomy, planetary science, geophysics, theoretical & experimental condensed-matter physics, and biophysics. Each year, a maximum of 28 students may enroll for the Master's Program and a maximum of 13 for the Doctoral Program.

Our department pursues a wide variety of research topics, including structure formation & cosmology, high energy astrophysics, jets, accretion disks, black holes, cosmic rays, galaxy clusters, general relativity, gravitational wave astronomy, galaxy formation, star formation, proto-planetary disks, to name a few. Often, hydrodanymics, plasma physics, and thermodynamics all play important roles in these topics. There are few other astrophysical theories departments in Japan that cover such a wide range of research topics with overlapping research interests among their staff.

In order to study in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group, you must first pass a written graduate school entrance examination in basic physics. In addition to good basic understanding of astrophysics, we also look for enthusiasm in astrophysics via an interview held after passing the written examination. Additionally, a separate second examination is held in late October. We are looking for unique people who are not normally admitted in the first round of testing. For information on graduate school admissions, please click here.

The standard curriculum for students in the Theoretical Astrophysics Group isdescribed below. Also, you don't need to be already member during 4th undergraduate year (B4) to join the group from graduate school. In fact, many graduate students enter graduate school from other universities.

4th Year Undergraduate Student (B4)

For 4-5 months, from October to February, you will work intensively on a specific subject as your graduation research. You will be encouraged to attend colloquiums and interact with graduate student working in shared office with you. At the end of the academic year in late January, you will be required to present your thesis results’ in front of the entire department.

Master's Course (M1-M2)

First, you will acquire the knowledge necessary to conduct theoretical research through seminars. In addition, you will be gradually initiated to state-of-the-art research by participating to on-going projects with faculty members. Before the summer of M2, you will work on several individual projects (called M1 projects) with 2-3 staff members to increase your research experience. From M2, students will focus on a single topic, conduct research under the guidance of a staff member, report on the progress of their master's thesis at an internal colloquium and midterm presentation, and compile the results into a master's thesis. It would be even better if you could complete one paper as a result of your researches. At the end of the academic year in early February, the results are presented at a master's thesis presentation to the entire department.

Doctoral Program(D)

Based on your experience in the master's program, you will have to find a research topic as independently as possible through discussions with the staff, work on it, and publish your research papers in professional journals. You will report on the progress of your Doctoral thesis at internal colloquiums and midterm presentations, and you will begin writing your doctoral dissertation in the fall of D3. A least 1-2 articles submitted and published in professional journals are desired, before the end of the program. At the end of the academic year, your results will be reviewed by the pre-examination committee (January) and presented at a department-wide doctoral dissertation public presentation (early March).

About the course, about 30% of the master's degree students go on to the doctoral course. Being from a theoretical laboratory does not necessarily mean that finding a job at a private company is at a disadvantage. On the contrary, the “strategic logical thinking ability” acquired in theoretical research is highly valued in many companies. There are also seniors who are employed by private companies after entering the doctoral program. Of course, there are also people who work hard to become professional researchers.

In the Theoretical Astrophysics Group, each member voluntarily works on his or her favorite theme, and does not work on a particular project in the entire laboratory. Compared to the experimental group, which often conducts research as a group, it can be said that there is more freedom in selecting research topics. Theoretical research may be thought of as individuals sitting in a room and studying hard, but in reality, this is not the case and we are actively discussing in seminars and tea rooms. There are always two or three seminars running, and students are actively reading textbooks, making preliminary reports on papers, and doing research studies in their own unique ways each semester.

There are also a lot of events in the lab, such as hiking, BBQs, and cherry blossom viewing, and the atmosphere is very convivial.

We aim to create a lively laboratory where there is constant discussion with visiting researchers from different field. At the weekly Wednesday afternoon colloquium, we try to invite speakers from outside the academy to talk about a wide range of research topics.

In today's scientific world, just being in a room and writing a paper won't make you a good researcher. You must be able to deal with the outside wind from yourself, give a clear and coherent presentation in front of a large number of faculties, and be able to actively discuss with other researchers. In our laboratory, we attach great importance to the communication skills necessary for that purpose, encourage students to make presentations at colloquiums and seminars, and improve their presentation skills. Being able to give a good presentation is at least a proof that you have the logical thinking and the capacity to transmit your knowledge to other people.

The best way to get a foretaste of the actual atmosphere of a laboratory is to experience it.

Please feel free to contact us and visit us at any time.

Position Name Email
Research field
Professor Kentaro Nagamine kn Structure Formation and Cosmology, Numerical Simulations of Galaxy Formation, Massive Black Hole Formation, Star Formation, Cosmic Reionization, etc.
Associate Professor Yoshiyuki Inoue yinoue High Energy Astrophysics, Black Hole, Active Galactic Nucleus, Relativistic Jets, Cosmic Background Radiation, etc.
Assistant Professor Shinsuke Takasao takasao Plasma Astrophysics, Magnetohydrodynamics, Solar physics, Stellar Magnetism, Accretion
Visiting Guest Professor Isaac Shlosman shlosman Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei, Accretion Flow onto Massive Black holes, Interstellar Medium and Galaxy Dynamics, Structure Formation, Numerical Simulations of Galaxy Formation, etc
Adjunct Associate Professor Luca Baiotti baiotti Numerical Relativity, Gravitational Waves, Neutron Star Mergers, Relativistic Numerical Simulations
Visiting Faculty Renyue Cen - Formation of High Redshift (z>6) Galaxies, Physics of Cosmological Reionization, Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium, Cosmology with the Lyman Alpha Forest, Galaxy Formation and Evolution

See a list of our refereed publications sorted by date (NASA/ADS) (Since 2013)