Department of Physics and Astronomy
SUNY Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800
Phone: (631) 632-1176
Alan C. Calder
I am an associate professor in the Astronomy Group within the Department of Physics and Astronomy at SUNY Stony Brook. I am also Deputy Director of The Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook.
My research is in computational astrophysics and I have studied a host of astrophysical problems. My dissertation research was on the role of convection in the core collapse supernova mechanism. Following that, I worked on neutron star mergers as a postdoc at NCSA. Then I went to the University of Chicago where I worked on problems involving astrophysical thermonuclear flashes, stellar explosions powered by a thermonuclear runaway. I have studied type I x-ray bursts, classical novae, and thermonuclear (type Ia) supernovae, and my research also addressed the basic physics of these events, topics like fluid instabilities, turbulence, and turbulent mixing. At Stony Brook, I have continued to study these problems along with some new ones, particularly the problem of modeling the atmospheres of neutron stars.
As for my background, I'll skip "all that David Copperfield kind of crap" and start with college. I graduated from the University of the South with departmental honors in physics. I began graduate study at Clemson University and completed an M.S. under the direction of Bob Panoff on the topic of using visualization techniques to understand algorithms in Quantum Monte Carlo. I completed my graduate studies and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in August of 1997. My advisor at Vandy was Sait Umar and my dissertation research was investigating the role of convection in core collapse supernovae using multidimensional hydrodynamics coupled to multigroup neutrino transport. My dissertation research was performed at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) in the Physics Division under the direction of Tony Mezzacappa.
Following graduate school, I was a postdoc at NCSA working with Doug Swesty on the problem of merging neutron stars. Following that, I was a postdoc and then research scientist at the Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes at the University of Chicago, where I studied problems involving thermonuclear flashes, events or rapid or explosive thermonuclear burning. The problems of interest include type I x-ray bursts, novae, and Type Ia supernovae.
While I was in Chicago, I was also an instructor at the School of the Art Institute where I taught courses on Planetary Science and the Search for Life in the Universe in the Liberal Arts Department.
February 10, 2021