Office: 361 Interdisciplinary Sciences
Piero Madau's research interests in the last few years have focused on theoretical cosmology and the high-redshift universe, especially on the physics of the intergalactic medium and the history of star formation in galaxies. At early epochs, the intergalactic medium contains evidence about the epochs of metal production, reionization, and chemical enrichment of the universe, as well as the primordial density fluctuation spectrum of some of the earliest formed cosmological structures. Quasar absorption lines are sensitive probes of this era and the basic processes that govern galaxy formation and evolution, and of the ultraviolet radiation background that ionizes them.
Currently, Madau is engaged in determining the impact of reionization on several key cosmological issues, from the role reionization plays in allowing collapsed objects to cool and make stars, to determining the small-scale structure in the temperature fluctuations of the cosmic background radiation. Probing the epoch of reionization may provide a means of detecting the onset of the first generation of stars and black holes in the universe.
Madau also works in high-energy astrophysics, on problems related to accretion onto compact objects, the origin of the cosmic X-ray background, and gamma-ray bursts.
Madau's Curriculum Vitae Madau's Publications