Can extend to MSc?: Yes
Project Description (Abstract):
Herbig Ae and Be stars are massive, pre-main sequence, A- and B- type stars that are finishing the last stages of formation before reaching the main sequence. They are surrounded by circumstellar disks of gas and dust that modify the spectra of the central star. By modelling observed spectra, the physical conditions in these disks can be determined and clues obtained to the physical processes occurring in the disks at this late stage of star formation. This project would consist of using circumstellar disks codes to produce synthetic spectra of Herbig Ae and Be stars that can be matched to an observed sample. Disk temperatures, densities, masses, radii, and scale heights can be determined for each star analyzed. The astrophysics of star formation and radiative transfer form the basis of this project. Most of the student analysis would be done with Matlab, and good MATLAB programming and data management skills would be learned.
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