February 2011

The first stars of the early days of the universe hold the key to understanding the formation of the first heavy elements and first galaxies. These stars, which were very massive, died as Pair Instability Supernovae (PSNs). During the 2010 MSI Research Exhibition, graduate student Ke-Jung (Ken) Chen, a member of Professor Alexander Heger's research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy, presented a poster concerning research into the energetics, hydrodynamic instabilities, and nucleosynthesis of PSNs. The poster was selected as one of the finalists by the Exhibition judges and an article about this work will appear in the Spring 2011 MSI Research Bulletin. The image is from a simulation of a PSN model. The 2011 MSI Research Exhibition will be held on April 25.