Letter from the Director

Welcome to the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics/L’Institut Canadien d’Astrophysique Théorique (CITA/ICAT).

As envisaged by the institute’s founders, Peter Martin and Dick Henriksen, CITA serves as a national center of excellence, promoting academic research in the astronomical community across Canada, with collaborations on a national and international level. Our researchers investigate questions from all of astronomy and astrophysics, ranging from early universe and big bang cosmology to galaxy formation and high-energy phenomena such as magnetars and supernovae. Recognizing that these fields of study—of stars and sky—have fascinated humans since time immemorial, CITA provides scientific leadership for the general public as well.

In the span of roughly a quarter century, CITA has grown from its fledging beginning of three faculty members and a few postdoctoral fellows to a faculty of seven, some thirty postdoctoral fellows–several appointed at other Canadian universities —and nearly twenty graduate students. Such tremendous growth is one measure of the success of CITA.

Another measure is the achievements of its postdoctoral program. Currently, over 115 former scholars hold tenured or tenure-track positions around the world. Twenty-three of these are in Canada, illustrating our leadership here at home.

At present, CITA is engaged in a number of large national and international projects, including Herschel, Planck, CHIME, and CCAT. Our research teams are involved from initial project design to the analysis and interpretation of collected data.

Astronomy and astrophysics ask questions of broad interest: Where does the Universe come from, what does it consist of, how old is it, and how large is it? Similarly, how are planets formed, how many stars have planets, and how many are like the Earth? CITA is developing the theoretical and computational tools needed to answer these questions.

This research could not be done without the generous support of a wide range of organizations:  the University of Toronto, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the governments of Ontario and of Canada and the Canadian Astronomical community,

Ultimately, the citizens of Canada make possible our continuing efforts to carry out fundamental research. On behalf of all “CITA-zens” I would like to express our appreciation. We look forward to sharing new discoveries and new understandings of the world in which we live.

Norman Murray
Director