Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos

Keele University Astrophysics Group

- Exoplanets discovery and characterisation - Stars: formation, evolution, nucleosynthesis and their impact - Galaxies, star clusters, associations and the interstellar medium

The Keele University Astrophysics group researches a wide range of topics from exoplanets to galaxies. In particular, the "Stellar Hydrodynamic, Evolution and Nucleosynthesis" (SHEN) research group led by Prof Raphael Hirschi studies the evolution, fate and impact of stars. Stars are complex objects involving many physical processes: turbulence (convection), interaction of rotation and magnetic fields and nuclear reactions. Ideally, we would like to model the structure and evolution of stars using three-dimensional (3D) magneto-hydrodynamics simulations. The large spread in length scales and the lifetime of stars being many orders of magnitude longer than the convective timescale, however, implies that we need to model the global evolution of stars using one-dimensional (1D) stellar evolution models. The SHEN group thus combines 1D and 3D theoretical models to better understand stars, provide a framework of interpretation of observational data and predict the fate and impact of stars. The image below is an example of a 3D simulation of the carbon fusion layer inside a massive star.

Prof Hirschi is the PI of the ChETEC COST Action and also a member several related collaborations, in particular the NUGRID collaboration. More information on the Keele Astrophysics group can be found on this webpage: