Lives, Deaths and Afterlives of Stars

Lives, Deaths and Afterlives of Stars

Stellar Astrophysics Department at MPA

Understanding how stars work is part of understanding our own Cosmic History, since we are made of “stardust”; the oxygen we breathe, the carbon in our muscles and the iron in our blood were once fused inside stars that have now long gone. The stellar department focusses on open research questions that relate to all aspects of how stars work: how they live their lives (alone, in pairs or as multiples), how they die (gently or giving rise to spectacular supernova explosions), as well as the afterlives of their remnants (white dwarves, neutron stars and black holes), which can be probed through Gravitational Waves.

Senior Researchers

Selma E. de Mink

is scientific director of the new stellar department which focusses on open questions related to the lives, deaths and after lives of stars. Her own interests have so far been centered on massive stars and binary stars in particular. But her interests are broad and range from stellar physics, interiors and evolution to applications including the astrophysics of gravitational wave progenitors, supernovae and more exotic stellar transients, stellar populations across cosmic time, chemical enrichment and feedback.

Achim Weiss

The focus of this group is to study the dynamical, stellar, and binary evolution of multiple-star systems such as triples, quadruples, and other hierarchical systems. Such systems are of high importance in astrophysics, since they may lead to violent astrophysical phenomena such as Type Ia supernovae and gravitational wave events. The main goal is to use both fast and detailed modeling to make statistical predictions for observations of supernovae and gravitational waves. more

Rüdiger Pakmor

is interested in a wide range of astrophysics problems with a focus on cosmological simulations, galaxy evolution, dynamical phases of stellar evolution, and thermonuclear explosions. His main tool to learn about those problems are numerical simulations. He is interested in the improvement of existing and development of new numerical methods as well as their efficient implementation on the largest supercomputers, and their application to practical astrophysical problems.
simulates the formation of individual galaxies and their interstellar medium and is particularly interested in improving the numerical represention of the complex processes driving galaxy-scale feedback from star formation and AGN activity. more

Marat Gilfanov

is interested in the physics of accretion, interaction of matter and radiation under extreme astrophysical conditions of high temperature and pressure, strong gravity and high magnetic field.
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