Science Overview

Current Projects

Hydrodynamic Models of Supernovae Bubbles

UC Santa Cruz — Theoretical Astrophysics

We have a pretty good understanding of what a single supernova (SN) blast does to its surroundings. But what happens when there are multiple? I built a code which can simulate the results of an arbitrarily large number of clustered SNe while measuring the momentum and energy injected into the surrounding gas.

Work is on-going. The stability of numerical codes can be finicky.


Previous Projects

AGN Jet Analysis of Pictor A

MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research

Using HST data of the FRII radio galaxy Pictor A, I studied the Mpc scale jet coming from the AGN.  Combining my optical data with radio and X-ray data from others, I could definitely rule out a “boosted IC-CMB” classification to its spectral energy distribution.  This suggests the observed X-ray emission is due to synchrotron emission, not IC-CMB emission.

As part of this work I published a paper in ApJ, gave a talk at the 2014 Northeast Regional Quasar and AGN Meeting at Harvard (NERQUAM), wrote a senior thesis and presented a poster at the Winter 2014 AAS conference.


Comparison of primary jet knot across optical bands:


Sample galaxy subtraction [optimized for outer radii; image of f160w infrared]:

X-ray Polarimetry Instrumentation

MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research

We had a roughly 18m-long beamline for testing an experimental x-ray polarimetry technique, but we had to align it first.  I spent some time aligning the system, then collecting the data which we would later publish.

We developed a laser alignment procedure for our 18m x-ray beamline

We developed a laser alignment procedure for our 18m x-ray beamline

Experimental evidence demonstrating our ability to measure polarized x-rays. (The fitted model is what is expected when a linearly polarized source is at an angle relative to polarization-sensetive mirror)

Atmospheric Spectroscopy

Universität Heidelberg — Institut für Umweltphysik

Installed a 3 band (UV, VIS, IR) remote sensing spectrometer on a research jet, for measuring concentration of atmospheric gases. Operated spectrometer during German national research campaign.  Developed software for calibrating data.

Installing remote sensing spectrometers inside a research jet.

X-ray calibration

MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Calibrated an x-ray machine using radiometric film. Provided rough calibration for x-rays used in testing fusion components, and also as a proof-of-concept for the use of radiometric films in plasma experiments.

Also drafted and built numerous x-ray calibration and accelerator component parts.

Exposed radiometric film.

Dark Matter Detection

MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science

With an underground time projection chamber, we sought to directly detect dark matter, by observing signatures of nuclear recoil.  My work was drafting with CAD systems, and designing an alpha radiation source calibration procedure and apparatus.

The anode rings of an electron drift chamber