I am a postdoc at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Heidelberg. I study the diffuse gas surrounding galaxies, the so-called circumgalactic medium, and their embedding large-scale structure, the cosmic web more than 10 billion years ago. I work with Dylan Nelson, running and analyzing cosmological galaxy formation simulations to understand the complex interplay of galaxies with their surroundings. I am particularly interested in linking upcoming observations of the Lyman-$\alpha$ from the faint, diffuse cosmic web to test our understanding of galaxy evolution and structure formation. Before moving to Heidelberg in 2021, I obtained my PhD in Physical Cosmology at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Eiichiro Komatsu’s group.
For students: Learn more about open projects available for bachelors and masters theses in computational astrophysics at the University of Heidelberg.
PhD in Physical Cosmology, 2021
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (LMU Munich)
MSc in Physics, 2017
University of Goettingen
BSc in Physics, 2015
University of Goettingen
Below plots show first results of our new radiative transfer code for meshless structures applied to individual halos in the IllustrisTNG simulations. Lyman-alpha emitter after radiative transfer. Surface brightness in erg/s/cm$^2$/arcsec$^2$. Lyman-alpha emitter after radiative transfer. Artificially lowered neutral hydrogen density by a factor of $10$, revealing the radiative transfer smoothing out the emission from the star forming regions. Surface brightness in erg/s/cm$^2$/arcsec$^2$. The neutral hydrogen column density responsible for scattering out the injected photons in star forming regions.
Lyman-alpha emitters (LAEs) show a rich variety of spectral shapes due to the emission line’s resonant nature and typically high optical depths. While there is a large body of literature exploring how small-scale density and velocity distributions can explain this variety of features in spectra, the intergalactic medium (IGM) has often been neglecting as a contributing factor for such features. Above sketch helps visualizing how the IGM density and velocity structure along a line-of-sight give rise to an attenuation profile possibly shaping the arising spectrum.
An increasing amount of astrophysical and cosmological simulations are carried out on a moving unstructed mesh defined by the Voronoi tessellation. Photons are spawned in a Monte Carlo fashion from emitting gas cells. At each scattering the contribution reaching the observer along specified lines of sight is computed. Lately, we expanded the priorly used code in Behrens et al., 2019 ( public version here) to work on such meshless structure. This will ensure the code’s relevance in the future and application to new simulations that would not have been able to be processed with prior code due to the larger memory requirement due to an intermediate interpolation step.
Binary Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs accreting mass from non-degenerate stellar companions through the single-degenerate channel have reigned for decades as the leading explanation of Type Ia supernovae. Yet, a coherent theoretical explanation has not yet emerged to explain the expected properties of the canonical near-Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf model. Such near-Chandrasekhar-mass SNe Ia are preceded by a simmering phase within the convective core of the white dwarf, leading to the ignition of one or more flame bubbles scattered across the core.
In 1967 Partridge and Peebles theorized that young galaxies at high redshifts emitting Lyman-α photons might be a suitable tracer of large-scale structure. Those distant galaxies of high Lyman-α emission, so-called Lyman Alpha Emitters (LAEs) can be used to constrain the cosmological standard model at high redshifts and furthermore allow insight for the environment of those galaxies. The Lyman-α line corresponds to the energy difference from the ground state to the first excited state of neutral hydrogen.