Research

My research broadly revolves around trying to understand the Universe. My work usually involves using large computer simulations or other forms of ‘Big Data’. I am usually a theorist and love working with cosmological simulations. However, I do occasionally dabble with observations and even human-based experiments.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Data Analyst at Swinburne University of Technology, working with Prof. Chris Fluke.

My PhD research revolved around studying the intergalactic medium and how its evolution can inform us about the history of galaxies. I used cosmological hydrodynamic simulations to determine how fast radio bursts can probe the effects of active galactic nuclei and the ionised gas in the intergalactic medium.

My list of publications are avaliable on ADS, via my ORCID page and google scholar.

My recent scientific and public talks list is on my talks page.

Research Interests

The Intergalactic Medium

"A visualisation of the filaments of the intergalactic medium and cosmic web from the EAGLE simulations." Image Credit: The EAGLE Project

The majority of the matter in the Universe can not be found inside galaxies. Instead, most of the mass of the Universe resides in the low-density, highly ionised region outside of galaxies known as the Intergalactic Medium (IGM). Approximately 80% of baryons in the present-day Universe are located in the IGM. The fact that the IGM contains the vast majority of the mass of the Universe means it is a crucial component to study if we wish to have a complete understanding of the evolution of matter.

The IGM is tightly linked to the evolution of stars and galaxies. The IGM provides the initial conditions from which a galaxy grows and is the reservoir of pristine gas which galaxies accrete to form new stars. The intertwined nature of galaxy evolution and the IGM means it is impossible to disentangle them and study them individually. To understand one, we must understand the other. However, the IGM isn’t so easy to observe. The high-temperatures and low-densities make observations in the optical and UV extremely unfavourable.

Fast Radio Bursts

"An artists interpretation of an FRB being detected at the Molonglo Radio Telescope." Image Credit: James Josephides / Swinburne University of Technology.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are a class of bright, millisecond, extragalactic radio transients. In the short time since their discovery in 2007, they already appear to be a valuable tool for studying the Universe. The critical property of FRBs is their dispersion measure (DM) which is extremely sensitive to the total number of electrons along their line-of-sight. Due to the extragalactic nature of FRBs, their dispersion measure makes them an excellent probe of the highly ionised plasma that fills the intergalactic medium.


Publications

My list of publications are also avaliable on ADS, via my ORCID page and google scholar.

Batten, A. J., et al., “Fast radio bursts as probes of feedback from active galactic nuclei”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, vol. 512, iss. 1, May 2022, Pages L49-L53, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slac020

Batten, A. J., et al., “The cosmic dispersion measure in the EAGLE simulations”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 505, iss. 4, August 2021, Pages 5356–5369, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab1528

Batten, A. J., “Fruitbat: A Python Package for Estimating Redshifts of Fast Radio Bursts”, The Journal of Open Source Software, vol. 4, no. 37, 2019. https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.01399.


Software

FRUITBAT

FRUITBAT is an open source fast radio burst (FRB) redshift estimation package written in Python. Repo on Github