SURF

Io Kleiser

Modelling an Emerging Class of Fast and Faint Stellar Explosions

Several newly discovered supernovae, or stellar explosions, are unusually faint and fast-evolving and defy our usual classification schemes. Their light curves (brightness over time) in particular show how quickly they rise to maximum brightness and then decline. They are also unlike any previously known supernovaeand unlike each otherin their electromagnetic spectra. Several attempts have been made to identify the properties of these supernovae and their progenitor stars based on their spectra and light curves, such as the energy of the explosion, the amount of mass ejected, and the elemental composition; but these estimates are often very rough and lack physical constraints. I have begun to run radiative transfer simulations of how light propagates from the explosion centers of these supernovae in order to give a much more accurate physical picture of what properties are required to produce the observed data for these new peculiar cases.

Message to Sponsor

I have been involved in astrophysics research for about two years at Berkeley and intend to pursue a research career in this field. As the summer approached, I had a very clear idea of the direction in which I wanted to go with my work. My participation in the SURF program has allowed me to choose and develop a project based on my interests without constraints based on financial concerns, and it gives me the freedom to spend the summer and my remaining year at Berkeley as an independent and self-motivated researcher.
  • Major: Astrophysics
  • Mentor: Daniel Kasen, Physics and Astronomy