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.
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.
aims to understand the physics of stars and stellar interactions, especially in binary stars, and the consequences of those stellar interactions for outcomes of stellar populations, including for the diversity of supernovae, other stellar transients, and compact-object binaries. Stephen works both on physical modelling of stellar phenomena and trying to improve our ability to use human-timescale population information to constrain the uncertainties in our models for evolutionary-timescale processes.
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.
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.