Exploding Stars!

Event Date: 
April 28, 2010
Dr. Lars Bildsten, KITP

Stars explode once every second in the Universe, often becoming brighter than their home galaxies. Though most remain undiscovered by astronomers, recently enhanced capabilities to scan the skies now detect about 10 per day. This has revealed new modes of explosions, some much brighter than we expect, and some much fainter. After describing the common outcomes, Bildsten will focus on the exciting new discoveries and their novel theoretical interpretations.

Speaker Bio: 
Professor Lars Bildsten is a Permanent Member at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and a Professor in the Department of Physics. He received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cornell University in 1991, where he held a Fannie and John Hertz Fellowship. Dr. Bildsten was at Caltech for three years as the Lee A. DuBridge Fellow and received a Compton Fellowship from NASA in spring 1994. He was an assistant and associate professor in the Physics and Astronomy Departments at UC Berkeley from January 1995 to July 1999. Among his awards are the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the Cottrell Scholar of the Research Corporation, and the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society. Dr Bildsten was the Salpeter Lecturer at Cornell University and the Biermann Lecturer at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. He has served on many national scientific advisory boards, and is presently serving on the main committee for the Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics, the once every ten year prioritization process for Federal investments in astrophysics.