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I am obsessed with secrets and death- particularly the secrets of stellar death! Central to these fascinations is the role gravity plays in the process.
When a star dies, the surrounding environment is so hot, and so dense, even the most energetic waves (gamma rays) take hours to escape. In these moments, a massive star's gravity overcomes all other fundamental forces, and crushes itself down to the width of a city (~10km, a neutron star) or smaller than this period: . (a black hole).
Because light takes so long to escape, we cannot see exactly how these dead stars form. Nature would continue to keep this secret quite effectively, if not for gravitational waves. Acting as a sense entirely separate to experience core collapse (the process of massive stellar death), gravitational waves created in simulations can provide unique details to stitch the story together.
By studying the moments just before death (mass loss), the instance of collapse (simulated gravitational waves), and the crescendo of blasting ejecta (all EM processes!), I pen the narrative of stellar death, handing off radio, X-ray, UVIR, and gravitational data to one another.
The philosophy of my teaching, outreach, and research is one focused on accessibility. This has broad-ranging implications, from partnering with visually impaired colleagues to sonify raw supernova data, to making higher-level physics intuitive and relatable to all. I believe in the power of effective writing, engaging the imagination, and encouraging multidisciplinary creativity in the face of over-specialization.
I believe many of us in academia have had the immense privilege of hearing, "You can do it!" in one way or another, and we should make it our mission to do the same for those around us. This over time inspires continued involvement, fosters safety and acceptance, and welcomes those new to the field we are currently changing. I believe anyone who understands the vastness of the universe and our small role in it can appreciate how rare is our earth and how precious are those around us. Science does not happen in a vacuum, and in our day to day it is simply "good science" to compassionately consider one another's experiences and stand in solidarity.