Professor Alan Calder
Department of Physics and Astronomy
7:30 pm Room 001 ESS Building
Friday, March 16, 2012

Cosmic Candle Making with Type Ia Supernovae

Type Ia supernovae are bright stellar explosions with the unique property that the light curves may be standardized and used as distance indicators for cosmological studies. Such use as "standard candles" is widely accepted, but many questions remain about the progenitor systems and the explosion mechanism.

In the next of the popular series Astronomy Open Night, Prof. Alan Calder will present highlights from his research into modeling type Ia supernova explosions. He will describe proposed progenitor systems, proposed explosion mechanisms, and the physics involved in these events. He will present the results of a study of the systematics of type Ia supernovae including trends in brightness following from properties of the host galaxy that agree with observations.

Prof. Calder joined the Stony Brook Physics and Astronomy department in 2007 after research appointments at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. His research is in numerically modeling astrophysical phenomena, and he has studied core collapse and thermonuclear supernovae, coalescing neutron stars, and classical novae.