2019 Spring Physics Colloquium Series: Curtis A. Williams, Ph.D.

DateApril 3, 2019Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125
2019 Spring Physics Colloquium Series

Curtis A. Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Texas A&M University-Commerce

Stellar Forensics in Open Star Clusters

End of life issues are complex for stars as well as for humans. Complex astrophysical processes are at work sculpting dense stellar cores deep under the envelopes of red giant stars. These processes include final stages of nuclear fusion occurring in partially degenerate conditions, rotational and convective instabilities, and the uncertain strengths of magnetic fields — all of these are resistant to computer modeling and/or lacking crucial physical knowledge. I seek to constrain these processes using observations of white dwarfs - the final stage of stellar evolution for the vast majority of stars. Using an ever growing sample of white dwarfs in open star clusters, I will discuss recent results and ongoing mysteries surrounding the relationship of white dwarf masses to those of their progenitor stars, the evolution of stellar rotation, the composition of white dwarf atmospheres, and the fate of stellar mergers.

For more information contact: Dr. Anzhong Wang 254-710-2276
PublisherDepartment of Physics
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