CFRCE Astronomy & Astrophysics Program
"The age of the Sun is more than 5000 million years, the oldest stars in the universe are over 10,000 million years, and the youngest stars are being born and beginning their evolution right now in the clouds of gas and cosmic dust. Stars are incorporated into systems of various masses and dimensions: star pairs, groups, complexes, associations, clusters, and galaxies. Galaxies are not at the top of the hierarchy of astronomical systems, for there are also galactic clusters and superclusters, the largest formations known so far in the universe."
--Gurevich and Chernin-The Magic of Galaxies and Stars
Gayathri Rao sat spellbound unable to think of anything else. Carl Sagan's Cosmos was enchanting to the core. Nothing else she had read or watched fascinated her more than this. And the most unforgettable scene was that of the birth and evolution of stars. Indeed, stars were born, had their life-cycles and ended either as white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes. And all this could be calculated by hand sometimes on the back-of-an-envelope as the astrophysicists called it. She had always been intrigued by the equilibrium of stars. All one had to do was to equate the hydrostatic pressure to the gravitational pressure and one had the equations of the star. She had even managed to understand the meaning of the famous Chandrasekhar limit. Surely, she would be an astrophysicist. No other career could fulfil her deepest aspirations. But how was she to go about it?
She was just completing her 12th grade. There were only two options for her: take up the three year Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree program or the four year Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree program. The former would be more direct and would also give her more time for her Astrophysics interests. But there were two obstacles to this. The first was technical. The BSc program was not really equipped to give any adequate background in physics. It was a combination of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry (with an option of Electronics and Computer Science instead of Chemistry). The second was career related. Admission for Graduate programs to Universities at the United States required a four-year Bachelors degree. Moreover, the Engineering program would give her a more rigorous foundation even for Astrophysics. The disadvantage was that she would have less time for her Astrophysics studies. After a lot of thinking she had enrolled for the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics at a good college. Three months into her course, she was feeling disillusioned. She appeared to be moving away from her dream of pursuing Astrophysics.
And then by a great stroke of good fortune she had come across and joined the CFRCE Astronomy & Astrophysics Program. And very soon, she was on her way not only to learn Astrophysics in full earnest but also to engage in research and emerge at the frontiers of the field. The CFRCE Astronomy & Astrophysics Program had been her dream come true.
The CFRCE Astronomy & Astrophysics Program is perhaps the only program of its kind that taps, sustains and tremendously channelizes the fascination, interest and motivation of a young undergraduate student towards serious research and inquiry in Astronomy & Astrophysics. It is a powerful spring-board for the earnest student of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Based on the acclaimed CFRCE Neuro-Cognitive Methodology, it takes the student straight into the heart of modern Astronomy & Astrophysics and launches him/her directly onto current research in fields like Theoretical Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysics, Structure Formation, Galactic & Extragalactic Astronomy, Astrophysics of Compact Objects and Relativistic Cosmology.