College of Science

SEMINAR: Lia Corrales [MIT]

SEMINAR: Lia Corrales [MIT]

Apr 28, 2016 11:00 AM to Apr 28, 2016 12:00 PM at Building 8, Room 241

Dr. Lia Corrales 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

High energy studies of astrophysical dust

A significant fraction of the heavy elements produced by stars enters the interstellar medium in the form of dust grains.  These grains serve as heavy metal transports, influence gas cooling during star formation, and eventually become the seeds for planet formation.  Much like quasar spectra are used to probe intergalactic gas, observations of X-ray bright compact objects can yield key insights to the mineralogy and evolution of dust grains in the Milky Way.  Since X-ray photons possess enough energy to excite electrons from deep n=1 (K-shell) and n=2 (L-shell) energy levels from neutral elements, absorption cross-sections directly reveal the composition of interstellar dust grains.  Meanwhile, images of dust-scattered X-ray light probe the dust grain size distribution and location along an interstellar sight line.  I will review recent high energy dust studies, with an eye towards lab work and future missions that will provide critical insights for astro-mineralogy and the life cycle of interstellar dust.
10:50 a.m. Refreshments
11:00 a.m. Seminar
Building 8 - Room 241
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