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KU Professor Makes Breakthrough on Galactic Life Cycles

An image of an optical blue quasar. (image credit: Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey DR7/NOAO via KU University Relations)

Most people know something about astronomy -- things about the sun, moon and stars. But the nitty-gritty details of astrophysics? Not so much. That's why real breakthroughs in the field often pass by, unnoticed by the general public. Luckily, a lot of people making big discoveries are also teachers, like Allison Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. She's an expert on supermassive black holes and her research uncovered something no one had realized about the cosmic life cycle of galaxies. Kirkpatrick found something she calls "cold quasars." The discovery upended a lot of assumptions about how galaxies grow and expand. KPR's Laura Lorson spoke with the professor about her research into galaxies and her new discovery, which she recently presented at the American Astronomical Society.  

That's Allison Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. She was speaking with KPR's Laura Lorson. Professor Kirkpatrick announced her findings on "cold quasars" at the 234th meeting of the American Astronomical Society last month (June). She's continuing her research at KU and collaborating with astrophysicists worldwide to confirm her findings.

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