Dr Mathew Smith

Lecturer in Astrophysics

Research Overview

My research is focuses on maximising our big picture understanding of the Universe through observations. Type Ia Supernovae, as standard candles, are excellent distance estimators. By discovering and observing these events in both the nearby and distant universe, I try to determine how the Universe has evolved in size and density.

The physical processes that cause these explosions, how to best measure distances from them, and how to use these measurements to best determine the expansion history of the Universe are my central research themes. To do this, I am a core member of multiple major experiments including the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).

I am also interested in a wide range of cosmological phenomena including explosions of the most massive stars ('superluminous supernova') and Gravitational Wave transients.

Beyond physics, I am keen to adapt astronomical techniques for good. I have partnered with medical clinicans in dermatology to detect skin cancer and cardio-vascular medicine to determine the best course of treatment after a heart-attack.