Projects per year
I am post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Physics. As a high-energy astrophysicist, I study stellar explosions and their environment, focusing on the most energetic explosions in the Universe: γ-ray bursts. These events are some of the furthest observable phenomena in our Universe, shining brighter than the combined light from entire galaxies of a billion stars for a few minutes! We understand these bursts are formed in the deaths of massive stars and also in mergers involving neutron stars; however, the mechanism that releases their tremendous energy is not known. I am interested in learning why, when, and where these events occur, how they are related to other classes of explosions, and what they tell us about fundamental physics operating in regimes variously combining high energy, relativistic motion, dense plasmas, and strong gravity.
With the help of these incredibly powerful explosions, I study the nature of high-energy plasmas and relativistic shocks, physical conditions that are inaccessible in Earth-based laboratories. I also use these phenomenally powerful flashes to investigate the evolution of gas and the assembly of galaxies in the our Universe, back to the time of the formation of the first stars. To address these questions, I use ground- and space-based telescopes across the electromagnetic spectrum, combined with theoretical modeling in robust stastiscal frameworks.
1/01/20 → 31/12/20