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Personal profile

Research interests

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.

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Research Output

A Mildly Relativistic Outflow from the Energetic, Fast-rising Blue Optical Transient CSS161010 in a Dwarf Galaxy

Coppejans, D. L., Margutti, R., Terreran, G., Nayana, A. J., Coughlin, E. R., Laskar, T., Alexander, K. D., Bietenholz, M., Caprioli, D., Chandra, P., Drout, M. R., Frederiks, D., Frohmaier, C., Hurley, K. H., Kochanek, C. S., MacLeod, M., Meisner, A., Nugent, P. E., Ridnaia, A., Sand, D. J. & 18 others, Svinkin, D., Ward, C., Yang, S., Baldeschi, A., Chilingarian, I. V., Dong, Y., Esquivia, C., Fong, W., Guidorzi, C., Lundqvist, P., Milisavljevic, D., Paterson, K., Reichart, D. E., Shappee, B., Stroh, M. C., Valenti, S., Zauderer, B. A. & Zhang, B., 20 May 2020, In : Astrophysical Journal Letters. 895, 1, L23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Downloads (Pure)

Methods for detection and analysis of weak radio sources with single-dish radio telescopes

Marongiu, M., Pellizzoni, A., Egron, E., Laskar, T., Giroletti, M., Loru, S., Melis, A., Carboni, G., Guidorzi, C., Kobayashi, S., Jordana-Mitjans, N., Rossi, A., Mundell, C. G., Concu, R., Martone, R. & Nicastro, L., 20 May 2020, In : Experimental Astronomy.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

The Tidal Disruption Event AT 2018hyz II: Light Curve Modeling of a Partially Disrupted Star

Gomez, S., Nicholl, M., Short, P., Margutti, R., Alexander, K. D., Blanchard, P. K., Berger, E., Eftekhari, T., Schulze, S., Anderson, J., Arcavi, I., Chornock, R., Cowperthwaite, P. S., Galbany, L., Herzog, L. J., Hiramatsu, D., Hosseinzadeh, G., Laskar, T., Bravo, T. E. M., Patton, L. & 1 others, Terreran, G., 11 Mar 2020, (Acceptance date) In : Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ALMA Detection of a Linearly Polarized Reverse Shock in GRB 190114C

Laskar, T., Alexander, K. D., Gill, R., Granot, J., Berger, E., Mundell, C., Duran, R. B., Bolmer, J., Duffell, P. C., Van Eerten, H., Fong, W., Kobayashi, S., Margutti, R. & Schady, P., 13 Jun 2019, In : Astrophysical Journal Letters. 878, 1, L26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
10 Citations (Scopus)

An Embedded X-Ray Source Shines through the Aspherical AT 2018cow: Revealing the Inner Workings of the Most Luminous Fast-evolving Optical Transients

Margutti, R., Metzger, B. D., Chornock, R., Vurm, I., Roth, N., Grefenstette, B. W., Savchenko, V., Cartier, R., Steiner, J. F., Terreran, G., Margalit, B., Migliori, G., Milisavljevic, D., Alexander, K. D., Bietenholz, M., Blanchard, P. K., Bozzo, E., Brethauer, D., Chilingarian, I. V., Coppejans, D. L. & 25 others, Ducci, L., Ferrigno, C., Fong, W., Götz, D., Guidorzi, C., Hajela, A., Hurley, K., Kuulkers, E., Laurent, P., Mereghetti, S., Nicholl, M., Patnaude, D., Ubertini, P., Banovetz, J., Bartel, N., Berger, E., Coughlin, E. R., Eftekhari, T., Frederiks, D. D., Kozlova, A. V., Laskar, T., Svinkin, D. S., Drout, M. R., Macfadyen, A. & Paterson, K., 6 Feb 2019, In : Astrophysical Journal. 872, 1, p. 18 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)