To explore the birth of the universe, the formation of stars and galaxies and the fundamental structure of space and time, SLAC researchers develop cutting-edge technologies for sensitive experiments located deep underground, on the surface and in space.
SLAC’s astrophysicists and cosmologists pursue top-priority research on topics including dark matter and dark energy, galaxy formation and cosmic evolution. Like their colleagues in particle physics, they want to understand our universe, from its smallest constituents to its largest structures.
The early universe
What happened in the first moments after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago? SLAC scientists are joining others to search the oldest observable light, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), for clues.
Early universe news
One of modern science’s biggest mysteries is dark matter, an invisible form of matter that shapes galaxy rotation and bends rays of light. No one knows what dark matter is, but scientists are carrying out a number of experiments to learn more.
The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, but why? Scientists study the force that drives that acceleration, dubbed “dark energy,” with deep astronomical surveys that look at how the distribution of galaxies has changed over billions of years.
SLAC and Stanford researchers develop theories of the evolution of the cosmos – from the Big Bang to the formation of the first stars and galaxies to the structures we observe today – and test them against a wealth of data from experiments.