Chair's Welcome

On behalf of the entire Department of Astrophysical Sciences, I'd like to welcome you to our webpages, and encourage you to explore all that can be found here.

The unique name of our department reflects our long and distinguished history. Astrophysics at Princeton began over 100 years ago, when Professor Henry Norris Russell recognized the importance of integrating physics into astronomy in order to interpret stellar spectra. Under the leadership of Lyman Spitzer, the department grew into its modern form, with unique strengths in theoretical and computational astrophysics, plasma physics and a leadership role in astronomical surveys such as SDSS. That so many important discoveries are associated with Princeton is humbling: from the H-R diagram to the CMB, from modeling stellar evolution on one of the world's first computers, to the discovery of new extrasolar planets. Check out our Departmental History page to learn more.

Today we're a diverse and dynamic department of over 100 faculty, research scholars, students and staff. We continue our tradition of leadership in theoretical and computational astrophysics, in survey astronomy, and in instrumentation (both hardware and software). With close ties to the Gravity and Cosmology group in the Department of Physics, the Astrophysics group at the Institute of Advanced Studies, campus institutes in both research computing and data science, instrumentation laboratories in Physics and the Engineering School, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (the largest center for magnetic fusion and space science studies in the country), opportunities to learn and collaborate across disciplines are everywhere!

If you're a student, I encourage you to explore the information on these pages about our exceptional undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs. If you're a colleague, we hope you'll learn more about the people and research in our department. And if you're a member of the public, you'll find information about our monthly public observing and outreach programs.

Welcome to Peyton Hall!

Jim Stone
Lyman Spitzer Jr. Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics
Chair, Department of Astrophysical Sciences