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Graduate Institute of Astrophysics


      Astronomy and astrophysics are natural sciences that connect very well with humanities and literature. Astronomy is the oldest science, originating from human curiosity towards Nature. It can be said that civilization has its root in our ancestors' deciphering of awesome astrophysical phenomena.

  We have noticed that a science course in astronomy can attract hundreds of students, while an astrophenomenon, such as Mercury's passing over the Sun in May 2003 or Mars' closest approach to the Earth in August 2003, always causes sky gazers to flock to observatories or even mountaintops. Indeed, astronomy and astrophysics are the most natural bridge between humanities and sciences.

       For many years, NTU, or Taida, has been the top choice for college education among high school graduates in Taiwan. Taida has been the traditional training ground for generations of young talents in Taiwan. For one reason or another, it would be difficult to explain to others why a field such as astronomy or astrophysics was simply not offered there for so long.

       Taida's Institute of Astrophysics (IoAp) has its root in Department of Physics, College of Science, National Taiwan University. Its further developments overlapped considerably with those of the Physics Department: In the immediate or medium-term future, it will be in the interests of both institutions to develop together. Even in the long run, there is little reason for Taida's IoAp to function as an institution completely independent from Department of Physics.

       It is intended that the MoE funded research excellence project on "Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics" (CosPA), and its NSC sequel, a study of the origin of the universe, will be the driving force in developing Taida's IoAp. Hence, IoAp will start with three outstanding groups:

(1) Radio astronomy observation group, (2) Optical and infrared astronomy observation group, and (3) Theoretical astrophysics group, with the research interests of each group overlapping with those of the CosPA project for at least the first ten years. Taida's IoAp will reformulate its development plan at least every ten years.

  Taida's IoAp is the first institute at Taida in which all courses are conducted in English.