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My Research

My research interests lay in the field of computational astrophysics where I use simulation and theoretical models to understand the transition from Population III (Pop III) to Population II (Pop II) star formation. Characterizing this transition will help us understand the unusual elemental abundances we see in some of the oldest stellar systems studied by observers. These include Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor (CEMP) stars, found in the Milky Way halo, as well as the some of the ancient stars found in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. These “stellar fossils” are thought to have captured the chemical imprint of early supernova and possible neutron star mergers.

PDFs for chemical abundances in our simulated stars 

Our probability density functions (PDFs) correlate well with the observations of CEMP stars from Keller et al. (2014) (red stars).

Supernova induced turbulent velocity and fluid-flow (vectors).

Our simulation tracks the pristine fraction of gas at subgrid scales to better model the formation of Pop III stars in the early universe.

Histogram of stellar mass in metallicity bins

We demonstrate that a large number of stars can still form in regions of otherwise polluted gas due to incomplete mixing.

Joint PDFs depicting the mass-weighted probabilities for the chemical abundances of [C/H], [O/H] and [Mg/Ca] as a function of [Fe/H] for all stars in our simulation. We generate chemical abundances for our stars convolving models for Pop III SN and "regular" SN. The red stars are characteristics of observed Milky Way halo CEMP-no stars (Keller et al. 2014). Our metallicity  density function at the lower left is overlayed with data (red curves with 1 sigma Poisson noise) from Yoon et al. 2016 and An et al. 2013.