Astronomy

 

Greene
Kelly Holley-Bockelmann
StassunKeivan Stassun

Dr. Holley-Bockelmann’s research interests lie in intregalaxy dynamics, N-body simulations, supermassive black holes, and gravitational waves.When black holes merge, they emit huge amounts of gravitational radiation — and if the merger is not symmetric (say the spins are mis-aligned, or the masses are different), these gravitational waves are emitted in a preferred direction. This sends the new black hole careening off in with a recoil velocity that can be up to 9 million miles per hour! Such rapidly moving black holes will easily escape low mass systems like globular clusters. Dr. Holley-Bockelmann’s group is studying how well globular clusters can retain Intermediate Mass Black Holes against an onslaught of black hole mergers.Dr. Stassun’s research focuses on answering the following questions:

  • What are the physical processes involved in stellar birth, and which theory of star formation provides the most accurate description of a young star’s evolution?
  • What are the physical processes involved in planet formation, and how long does this process take?
  • How do young stars produce energetic X-ray radiation, and what is the impact of this radiation on the environment of young Earth-like planets?
  • By what mechanism(s) do young stars slow down the very rapid rotation that should result from their gravitational collapse?
Links:
Prof. Holley-Bockelmann’s Page
Prof. Stassun’s Page
Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-Intensive Astrophysics (VIDA)

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