Astrophysics Lab


Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory (CAL)

Fifty years after its founding, the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory (CAL) continues to thrive as a recognized center for world-class forefront research, and as the nexus for interdepartmental research between Physics and Astronomy. CAL serves many functions; it is a physical place in which its members can engage and collaborate on research topics; it is a social network for providing a common CAL identity and a means to foster interactions between the Departments and the CAL research staff; it is an administrative center that enables and supports the execution of large, complex experimental projects, and relieves many of the burdens of dealing with administrative functions for all its researchers. The success of CAL within the University is no more clearly demonstrated than by the fact that it only exists by the mutual agreement of the faculty of the Physics and Astronomy Departments.

Activity in CAL spans all forefront areas of astrophysical research including gravitational waves, dark matter searches, the study of the origins and evolution of structures in the universe (galaxies, black holes and other compact objects and stars), the flow and distribution of gas and elements, the search for planetary systems and potentially habitable worlds beyond our own, and the study of the molecules that are the building blocks of life and other astrochemical signatures. CAL researchers are also actively involved in the in-house design and development of astrophysical instrumentation projects motivated by fundamental science questions, and have been directly involved in the planning, design, development and analysis of data from numerous other ground- and space-based projects.

By existing as a separate laboratory that serves this community, CAL is able to derive efficiencies from the commonality of research requirements. CAL also provides specialized support for certain segments of the community; particularly those involved in large instrumentation development projects.

Administrative Contacts

Department Office: Pupin Hall, Room 1027


Mailing Address & Phone Numbers

Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory
Columbia University
Mail Code 5247
538 West 120th Street
New York, New York 10027

phone 212.854.3257
fax 212.854.8121