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Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Dr. Daniel Kasen

5 Jan 2020, 21:31 UTC
Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Dr. Daniel Kasen
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In this series of posts, we sit down with a few of the keynote speakers of the 235th AAS meeting to learn more about them and their research. You can see a full schedule of their talks here!

Professor Daniel Kasen

The Merger of Theory and Observation On August 17, 2017, gravitational waves from two merging neutron stars were detected for the first time. Remarkably, this event (known as a kilonova) was also detected in the electromagnetic spectrum shortly after. This kilonova ushered in the era of ‘multi-messenger’ astrophysics with gravitational waves, when both gravitational waves and electromagnetic emission can be used to study astronomical phenomena. For Professor Daniel Kasen, though, this was confirmation of years of work simulating and predicting what observations of such an event would look like. When two neutron stars merge, heavy elements are produced through a mechanism known as the r-process. These heavy elements are unstable, though, and their radioactive decay produces the light that we call the kilonova. While there is still much work to do on modeling the properties of kilonovae, there was remarkable agreement between his theoretical predictions and the first observations. For this work, Kasen is one of this year’s ...

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