Star formation is a key process in forming visible structures in the universe, including galaxy clusters, galaxies, star clusters and planets. Star formation is just one step in the life cycle of interstellar medium (ISM), the main components of which are atomic hydrogen atoms (HI) and hydrogen molecules (H2). The transition from atomic to molecular hydrogen determines the formation time scale of dense molecular clouds that are sites of star formation, and thus sets up the initiation conditions of star formation. The main focus of our research group is studying star formation and the ISM life-cycle.
Our group are heavily involved in the construction, commissioning, and science operation of FAST. In recent years, the scope of research has expanded to other FAST-related areas, including galaxy evolution, pulsars, FRBs, exoplanets and brown dwarfs. Our group is leading one of the major FAST surveys, namely, the Commensal Radio Astronomy FAST survey (CRAFTS). Enabled by a proprietary and novel calibration technique, CRAFTS is the world’s first simultaneous HI – pulsar survey.
The group has 13 regular staff, 6 post-doctoral fellows, 10 doctoral candidate, and 12 master candidates and research students.