Dynamics in the Sun, Stars and Exoplanets
I study dynamical processes in stellar interiors and exoplanetary atmospheres.
I work with a distributed team developing new computational tools
for solving astrophysically interesting partial differential equations.
With these tools, we are taking novel approaches to studying fundamental
problems in our own Sun, in other stars, and in the atmospheres
of distant exoplanets.
A flexible approach to astrophysics
In theoretical astrophysics, the problems we dream are often constrained by the tools we have available.
We are developing an open-source, flexible software framework for solving astrophysically interesting
partial differential equations. Dedalus uses
modern programing techniques and cutting-edge algorithms to allow novel approaches to science.
We develop in the open,
have a growing and vibrant community,
and welcome contributions from all branches of science.
The properties of stratified convection, especially at very low Mach numbers,
is a significant problem in astrophysical fluid dynamics. Using
Dedalus, we have for the first time
simulated extremely low Mach number convection using fully compressible dynamics.
This is a significant advance on anelastic and other subsonic approximations.
Shown is 2-D, high-Rayleigh number convection in a polytropic atmosphere with 3.5 density scaleheights.
Stars like the Sun have magnetism at their surface.
These magnetic fields are generated by plasma motions in the turbulent convection
beneath the stellar photosphere. This process of building and rebuilding magnetic
fields is called the stellar dynamo. Using global-scale models with the ASH code,
we have achieved organized, global-scale, cyclically reversing dynamos that live
in the convection zone itself, rather than in special boundary layers (tachoclines)
deep within the star. One such system is shown here.
Read more (Brown et al. 2011)
Get In Touch
Interested in collaborating on research, or in studying astrophysics in Boulder? Drop me a line.
Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Boulder, CO 80309