Theoretical Astrophysics & Cosmology

Eugene Parker Eugene N. Parker

Ph.D., Cal. Tech., 1951.
S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College.
Theoretical physics, astrophysics, plasma physics, space physics.

Here are historical reviews Professor Parker has written since his retirement and a few other works.

Selected Publications:

  • Cosmical Magnetic Fields. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979.
  • Spontaneous Current Sheets in Magnetic Fields with Application to Stellar X-rays. Oxford University Press, New York, 1994.
  • A History of the Solar Wind Concept. In The Century of Space Science, Vol. I. Eds. M Huber, J. Geiss, and J. Bleeker. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001
  • The Physics of the Sun and the Gateway to the Stars. Physics Today, June 2000, p. 26.
  • Newton, Maxwell, and Magnetospheric Physics. In Magnetospheric Current Systems, Geophysical Monograph 118, American Geophysical Union, Washington D. C., p. 1. (A condensation of The Alternative Paradigm for Magetospheric Physics. J. Geophys. Res. 101, 10587, 1996.)

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Updated 2/2011

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Robert Rosner Robert Rosner

Ph.D., Harvard, 1976.
William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor, Depts. of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, the College, and the Computation Institute.
Theoretical and computational physics, fluid and plasma dynamics; solar physics; high-energy astrophysics; energy technologies and energy policy.

My research is mostly in the areas of plasma astrophysics and astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics (including especially solar and stellar magnetic fields) and related problems arising in laboratory fluid dynamics and plasma physics; boundary mixing instabilities; combustion modeling; applications of stochastic differential equations and optimization problems; and inverse methods. I have continued research interest overlap with the DOE/ASC Flash Center at Chicago (which I led for its first five years); this Center has been a pioneer in the development of computational astrophysics codes with broad applicability to other disciplines; have been closely involved in that Center's research activities in flame modeling and interfacial mixing; and have gotten quite involved in activities related to future developments of computational physics and astrophysics on the national level. I have also been involved with a Wisconsin/Chicago/Princeton NSF-supported Physics Frontier Center (CMSO) focusing on problems lying at the boundary of astrophysics and laboratory plasma physics, mostly in areas related to magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in low Prandtl number fluids. More recently, I have as a result of my work at Argonne National Laboratory become involved in energy technologies and their implications for energy policies on the national and international levels, especially in areas related to nuclear (fission and fusion) power; and I confess to a growing interest in modeling biological systems.

Selected Publications:

  • X-ray emission mechanisms in Herbig-Haro objects, Bonito, R., Orlando, S., Peres, G., Favata, F., & Rosner, R. 2006, Mem. S.A. It. Suppl., 9, 226-8.
  • Multiscale character of the nonlinear coherent dynamics in the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, Abarzhi, S.I., Nishihara, K., & Rosner, R., 2006, Phys. Rev. E, 73, 036310.
  • Crushing of interstellar gas clouds in supernova remnants. II. X-ray emission, Orlando, S., Peres, G., Reale, F. Bocchino, F., Rosner, R., Plewa, T., & Siegel, A., 2006, A&A, 457, 545-52.
  • The traveling wave MRI in cylindrical Taylor-Couette flow: Comparing wavelengths and speeds in theory and experiment, Ruediger, G., Hollerbach, R., Stefani, F., Gundrum, T., Gerbeth, G., & Rosner, R., 2006, ApJ Letters, 649, L145-7.
  • X-rays from protostellar jets: Emission from continuous flows, Bonito, R., Orlando, S., Peres, G., Favata, F., & Rosner, R., 2006, A&A, 462, 645-56.
  • MHD simulations of jet acceleration from Keplerian accretion disks: the effects of disk resistivity, Zanni, C., Ferrari, A., Rosner, R., Bodo, G., & Massaglia, S. 2007, A&A, 469, 811-28.
  • An estimate of p-mode damping by wave leakage, de Moortel, I., & Rosner, R. 2007, Solar Phys., 246, 53-63.
  • A spectral Galerkin method for the coupled Orr-Sommerfeld and induction equations for free-surface MHD, Giannakis, D., Fischer, P.F., & Rosner, R. 2008, JCP, 228(4), 1188-1233.
  • Large-wavelength instabilities in free-surface Hartmann flow at low magnetic Prandtl numbers, Giannakis, D., Rosner, R., & Fischer, P.F. 2009, JFM, arXiv: 0808.1130G (accepted, in press).

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Updated 6/2009

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Michael S. Turner Michael S. Turner

Ph.D., Stanford, 1978.
Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor, Depts. of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College, and Director, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics.
Theoretical astrophysics, cosmology and elementary particle physics.

My research focuses on the application of modern ideas in elementary-particle theory to cosmology and astrophysics. I believe that this approach holds the key to answering the most pressing questions in cosmology. For example, there is reason to believe that the ubiquitous dark matter that holds the Universe together is elementary particles left over from the earliest moments, that the primeval inhomogeneity in the distribution of matter, which was revealed by COBE and which seeded all the structure in the Universe seen today, arose from quantum-mechanical fluctuations occurring during a very early burst of expansion called inflation, and that the existence of ordinary matter resulted from particle interactions in the early Universe that make the proton unstable and do not respect the symmetry between matter and antimatter. By testing these ideas with cosmological data, outer space becomes a window to the earliest moments of creation and to the unification of the forces and particles of Nature.

Over the next decade the search for particle dark matter, the mapping of the distribution of matter in the Universe a few hundred thousand years after the beginning through precision measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation, and the mapping of structure in the present Universe by determining the positions of millions of galaxies should definitively test these bold ideas. Much of the crucial experimental work is being done by colleagues at Chicago; for example, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey will map the positions of a million galaxies and the DASI, TopHat, MAP, and Python experiments will measure the fine-scale anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Current specific areas of research include: big-bang nucleosynthesis in era of precision cosmology; theoretical aspects of inflationary cosmology; testing the inflationary paradigm; determining the nature of the dark energy that is causing the Universe to accelerate; dark matter and dark-matter detection; dark matter and the formation of structure in the Universe; the origin of the cosmic asymmetry between matter and antimatter; understanding how to use precision measurements of the fine-scale anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background and large-scale structure to probe inflation and fundamental physics; and aspects of axion, neutrino and string cosmology.

Visit the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Selected Publications:

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Updated 3/99 or later

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