Professor Michal Simon
Department of Physics and Astronomy
7:30 pm Room 001 ESS Building
Friday, October 5, 2012

Tides in the Solar System

Living on an island most of us are well familiar with the tides and their rhythms and appreciate our Moon's role in producing the tides. Less appreciated is the effect of tidal torques and friction in slowing the Earth's rotation while the Moon's orbit expands. Elsewhere in the Solar System tidal forces on planetary satellites produce internal heating which in extreme cases gives rise to volcanoes. In this Open Night talk Dr. Simon will discuss how tidal forces arise and how they affect the structure and orbits of bodies throughout the Solar System.

Dr. Michal Simon is Professor Ermitus and active Research Professor in Stony Brook's Department of Physics and Astronomy. He aims to improve our understanding of young stars and their formation as binaries. His approaches include measurements of stellar mass, binary frequency, and the properties of circumstellar disks. This research uses state-of-the-art instrumentation in several areas of astronomy. Since the research is often collaborative, it offers graduate students the opportunity not only the opportunity to observe with instruments at the forefront of modern astronomy, but also to work with individuals who are expert in their use. Specific recent results may be found in the NASA ADS listings and on astro-ph. In retirement, his professional life has changed little except that he avoid faculty meetings and does not have formal teaching assignments. He enjoys working with students. Dr. Simon’s current teaching activity includes supervision of graduate students and undergraduate research projects and, occasionally, an advanced topics seminar.