Theoretical Astronomy

Terrestrial Planet Formation and Habitability in Binary Star Systems

Most stars reside in binary/multiple star systems. Perturbations from a companion star can disrupt the formation and long-term stability of planets. More than 40 extrasolar planets have been detected in binary star systems, including 3 with stellar separations of only ~20 AU, well within the region spanned by planets in our Solar System. I will present results from a large suite of numerical simulations that explore the final stages of terrestrial planet formation in main sequence binary star systems.

Quantum Astronomy: Extending the Weirdness of Modern Physics to Cosmic Scales

Is the weirdness of aspects of quantum physics confined to the microscopic? Can one trade off information at the detector, thereby changing events that should have already taken place in the past? By increasing ignorance can one actually learn something new that could not have been learned with less ignorance? Does quantum physics recognize time as defined by general relativity, and vice versa?

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