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My research

   Welcome! My name is Zhen-Yi Cai (蔡振翼). Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher in Center for Astrophysics, USTC, Hefei, China, after having graduated as a joint PhD student of SISSA and XMU.

   During the PhD study, I have been working on a galaxy evolution model, which is being developed at SISSA (Trieste, Italy) and Padova observatory (Padova, Italy) and tested against multi-wavelengths data, e.g., luminosity functions, number counts, extragalactic background, clustering, etc.

   Collaborating with Prof. Jun-Xian Wang in USTC, I am also thinking of the quasar variability, which is probably as a result of the local temperature fluctuation of the accretion disk surrounding the central supermassive black hole.


  • Oct. 2009 - Oct. 2013, Ph.D. in Astrophysics
Joint Ph.D. student of SISSA (Trieste, Italy) and Xiamen University (XMU, Xiamen, China).
Date of defense: October 29, 2013
Thesis: Toward a physical model for the evolution of galaxies and active galactic nuclei through cosmic times
Advisors: Prof. Luigi Danese, Prof. Gianfranco De Zotti, Dr. Andrea Lapi (SISSA), and Prof. Ju-Fu Lu (XMU)
  • Sep. 2007 - Jul. 2009, Master study, Physics & Astronomy
Graduate studies at Institude of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics (ITPA) of XMU with infrequent curricula experience at Department of Astronomy of Peking University from Feb. 2008 to Jan. 2009.
Advisor: Prof. Wei-Min Gu
  • Sep. 2003 - Jul. 2007, B.S. in Physics
Department of Physics, XMU.
Thesis: Slim disk solution under the explicit gravitational potential
Advisor: Prof. Wei-Min Gu

Research interests:

  • Physical models for the cosmological (co-)evolution of galaxies and active galactic nuclei
    • Cosmology model and dark matter halo formation
    • Galaxy formation and evolution
      • Star formation, e.g., IMF, dust, etc.
      • Black hole accretion, e.g., disk model, jets, etc.
      • The co-evolution of central AGN and host galaxy, e.g., feedback mechanism
    • Multi-wavelengths luminosity functions (LFs) and astrophysical backgrounds


Computer skills:

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Contact: or or - Last modified: 03/06/2014