A professor and student look through a model of the galaxy

Beyond the Classroom – Dr. David Rupke

When you walk into a classroom at Rhodes, you don't become just another student in a sea of faces and backpacks. At the heart of the Rhodes education is the mentorship relationship between faculty and students. Our scholars are world-class experts in their fields.

Physics professor Dr. David Rupke is a teacher-scholar who brings the excitement of his cutting-edge research into the Rhodes classroom.

Last year, Rupke and a group of collaborators from around the world had a breakthrough in understanding a key process in galaxy evolution. They reported first-time evidence of the role galactic winds—ejections of gas from a galaxy—play in creating the circumgalactic medium (CGM), a reservoir of gas that exists in the regions around a galaxy. Most of the visible matter in the universe actually lies around and between galaxies, and the CGM is important because of the role it plays in star formation and cosmic evolution. Rupke and his collaborators have been studying a giant outflow of gas surrounding the galaxy known as Makani, and their findings will be published in the Oct. 31, 2019, issue of Nature.

At Rhodes, Rupke works directly with undergraduate student researchers.

“I have students working with me every summer,” says Rupke. “It’s exciting for me to see them learn the process and make their own discoveries, and to see lightbulbs go on.”

Learn more about Dr. Rupke’s discovery.