This research theme encompasses developing new knowledge in the physics of Earth and the Universe, including observational astrophysics and understanding many of the geophysical properties of our planet.

Dr Robert Ferdman’s research focuses on observational astrophysics, with an emphasis on the study of pulsars and analysing pulsar data. Pulsars are the neutron star remnants of supernova explosions that emit radio waves from their magnetic poles. They often display exceptional rotational stability, approaching that of atomic clocks over timescales of several years. This allows us to perform precise astrophysics, including testing Einstein;s theory of relativity and detecting gravitational waves from supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Dr Samuel Lander develops theories to describe the extreme properties of neutron stars. This includes the evolution of their incredibly magnetic fields, among the strongest in the Universe, and the structural behaviour of the neutron-star crust – the densest matter in the known Universe apart from black holes.

This theme also includes researchers based in The School of Environmental Sciences  at UEA, one of the largest Environmental Sciences departments in the UK whose areas of expertise are centred around the properties of Earth, undertaking critical research on climate change, oceanography and natural hazards. Our physics expertise is most notably applied in the field of geophysics. Dr Jessica Johnson and Dr Lidong Bie are research faculty at UEA in Solid Earth Geophysics; they investigate the movement of fluid (such as magma, water and gas) in the Earth, investigating the way in which its behaviour impacts on geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, ground deformation and hydrothermal productivity.