Line-by-line RV Analysis

As radial velocity instruments approach the precision level necessary to detect an Earth-twin, stellar activity continues to induce significant noise and even planet-like signals. We thus developed a robust python package for extracting line-by-line radial velocity measurements; compared to standard techniques, the line-by-line approach offers considerable flexibility in the removal of stellar noise. We proceeded to explore how changes in line depth are correlated with stellar activity and developed an exciting model for detrending radial velocity measurements.

Sponsored by Caltech SURF program, with Andrew Howard

Exoplanet Dynamics

Resonant chains are a natural outcome of planetary migration in a gaseous disk and are thus an exciting probe of planet formation and tidal forces. Motivated by the unique history of these systems, we wrote and executed numerical N-body simulations of known resonant chains to infer the planets’ interior structures. Generalizing these methods, we crafted suites of hundreds of N-body simulations to characterize the stable equilibria of a general three-planet resonant chain.

Supported by the College Research Fellows (Hoeft) Award, with Daniel Fabrycky of the University of Chicago

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Low Mass X-ray Binaries

Measurements of black hole X-ray binaries, systems in which a black hole accretes mass from a donor star have long pointed to a gap between the most massive neutron stars and the least massive black holes formed via the collapse of a massive star; however, recent gravitational wave detections challenge this narrative. Given this tension, we seek to numerically explore detection rates of X-ray binaries in the Milky Way.

Sponsored by NSF CIERA REU, with Vicky Kalogera and Christopher Berry

Supernova Remnant Progenitors

Supernova remnants (SNR) are complex, three-dimensional objects; properly accounting for this complexity in the resulting X-ray emission presents quite a challenge. We apply Smoothed Particle Inference (SPI) techniques to analyze SNR and investigate their progenitor systems.

With Vikram Dwarkadas of the University of Chicago and Kari Frank of Northwestern University

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