Yale Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquium - Judith Provencal

Event time: 
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 2:30pm
Judith Provencal, Associate Professor of Instruction & Director, DE Asteroseismic Center
Speaker Institution: 
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Delaware
Talk Title: 
Exploring Stellar Astrophysics with Pulsating White Dwarfs
Event description: 

White dwarfs represent the final phase of evolution for the majority of stars. Concealed in their interior structure and composition are the fingerprints of physical processes that took place during earlier stages in their life cycles, making them extremely interesting objects for probing stellar physics. But how do we obtain information about white dwarf interior structure, composition, and surface behavior? White dwarf evolution is a story of cooling. AB any white dwarf evolves along the white dwarf cooling track, it passes through regions where the development of a surface convection zone leads to the initiation of nonradial g mode pulsations. White dwarfs are multimode pulsators, with periods between 100 and 1000 s. Asteroseismology allows us to build detailed models of white dwarf interiors. The success of exoplanet missions such as Kepler, K2, and TESS is fueling a revolution in stellar asteroseismology by providing high signal to noise, nearly continuous light curves of all types of stars, including white dwarfs. I will show how we use white dwarf pulsations to constrain theories of convection, as cosmochronometers to measure the age of the galactic disk, and to probe white dwarf structure and rotation rates. 

Watson Center A-51 See map
60 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Open to: 
General Public