• Black Hole Accetion

    BLACK HOLE ACCRETION

    General relativistic radiation magnetohydrodynamics.

  • Type Ia Supernovae

    TYPE IA SUPERNOVAE

    High resolution models of turbulent flames.

  • Stellar Astrophysics

    STELLAR ASTROPHYSICS

    Turbulence in massive stars.

  • Core-Collapse Supernovae

    CORE-COLLAPSE SUPERNOVAE

    State-of-the-art neutrino radiation hydrodynamics.

  • cosmology

    COSMOLOGY

    Large-scale structure, star formation, and supermassive black hole growth.

  • Compact Object Mergers

    COMPACT OBJECT MERGERS

    SPH simulations of binary mergers.

  • Plasma Astrophysics

    PLASMA ASTROPHYSICS

    Particle-in-cell simulations of reconnection.

ABOUT

The Center for Theoretical Astrophysics brings together a diverse set of scientists from across Los Alamos National Laboratory to study a wide variety of topics at the forefront of astrophysical research.

SUMMARY

Scientists within the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics collaborate internally and externally on a broad range of topics. Our diverse expertise and the collaborative environment we maintain allow us to tackle the most challenging problems at the forefront of theoretical and computational astrophysics.

With more than 50 active astrophysicists, Los Alamos National Laboratory is an exciting place to carry out astrophysical research. Though these scientists are spread broadly among organizations at LANL, the CTA establishes a community within which we organize and share projects.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is located in beautiful Northern New Mexico about a 40 minute drive northwest of Santa Fe. The area has outstanding opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Members of the CTA are extremely active in outreach, both locally and in surrounding communities. Check out our Outreach Page for more info.

RESEARCH

CTA scientists are engaged in a wide variety of projects. Some of these topics are listed below with links to more information.

Publications

  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • Evolution of massive black holes, studying both radiation and magneto-hydrodynamic effects
  • Computational Astrophysics
  • We develop and apply state-of-the-art methods and codes to tackle some of the most complex problems in astrophysics
  • Cosmic rays
  • Generation and propagation of cosmic rays from gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. Ties to a number of missions (e.g., HAWC, NuSTAR)
  • Cosmology and the first stars
  • Cosmology calculations using a broad range of tools (e.g., ENZO and Gadget), focused on studying the formation of the first stars and black holes
  • Engines behind transients
  • Thermonuclear and core-collapse supernovae, gamma-ray burst, and x-ray burst engines
  • Emission for transients
  • Modeling spectra and light-curves, radiation-hydrodynamics effects, atomic physics
  • Experimental astrophysics
  • Many of the fields leverage laboratory experiments in plasma physics, turbulence, radiation transport, nuclear, and atomic physics
  • Nuclear astrophysics
  • Understanding the behavior of matter and nuclear densities and applying these effects (neutrinos, equations of state) to supernova models
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Yields from stars and supernovae, nuclear cross-sections (tying to experiment), galactic chemical evolution
  • Star and planet formation
  • Formation of the solar system, extra-solar planets
  • Stellar Astrophysics
  • Structure, evolution, nucleosynthesis and hydrodynamics of stars
  • Supernova remnants
  • Following the engine through the remnant phase, effects of NLTE opacities, and magneto-hydrodynamics

OPPORTUNITIES

Check out opportunities to join LANL's CTA.

  • CTA Postdoc
  • The CTA accepts applications for postdoctoral positions year round. We seek candidates with interests and experience in computational physics/astrophysics, broadly defined, who will excel at carrying out research independently and in collaboration with members of the CTA.
  • LANL Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs
  • LANL Summer Schools

PEOPLE

LEADERSHIP

 CHRIS FRYER

DIRECTOR
LANL FELLOW, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Radiation-hydrodynamics, reaction networks

 JOSH DOLENCE

DEPUTY DIRECTOR: RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT
R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Black hole astrophysics, supernovae, numerical methods and algorithms

 WES EVEN

DEPUTY DIRECTOR: CAREER DEVELOPMENT
R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Transient light curves, compact mergers, supernovae, nucleosynthesis

 NICOLE LLOYD-RONNING

DEPUTY DIRECTOR: OUTREACH
R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Gamma-ray bursts, their emission physics, and their use as cosmological tools

 AIMEE HUNGERFORD

PROGRAM LIAISON
R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS, XCP

Gamma-ray astronomy, supernovae, Monte Carlo transport

 BRENDAN KRUEGER

RECRUITING COORDINATOR
R&D SCIENTIST, EULERIAN CODES, XCP-2

Supernovae, computational methods, code development

STAFF

 CHRIS FONTES

R&D SCIENTIST, MATERIALS & PHYSICS DATA, XCP-5

Theoretical atomic physics, radiative opacities, transient light curves

 JARRETT JOHNSON

R&D SCIENTIST, THEORETICAL DESIGN, XTD

The first stars, planets, galaxies, supernovae and black holes

 SAM JONES

R&D SCIENTIST, EULERIAN CODES, XCP-2

Supernovae, numerical methods, hydrodynamics, nucleosynthesis, stellar evolution

 OLEG KOROBKIN

R&D SCIENTIST, APPLIED COMPUTER SCIENCE, CCS-7

Neutron star mergers, r-process, hydrodynamics, HPC, general relativity

 JONAS LIPPUNER

R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

r-process nucleosynthesis, computational physics on GPUs

 CHRIS MALONE

R&D SCIENTIST, LAGRANGIAN CODES, XCP-1

Type Ia supernovae

 ZACH MEDIN

R&D SCIENTIST, EULERIAN CODES, XCP-2

X-ray bursts

 MATTHEW MUMPOWER

R&D SCIENTIST, NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS, ASTROPHYSICS, AND COSMOLOGY T-2

Nuclear physics, nucleosynthesis, beta-decay, fission

 IRINA SAGERT

R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Kinetic transport simulation, Nuclear astrophysics, hydrodynamics

 RYAN WOLLAEGER

R&D SCIENTIST, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Transient light curves, radiation transport methods

POSTDOCS

 AYCIN AYKUTALP

POSTDOC, THEORETICAL DESIGN, XTD

Cosmology, first stars, black holes

 ROSEANNE CHENG

METROPOLIS FELLOW, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Tidal disruption events, overset mesh methods

 ERICA FOGERTY

POSTDOC, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Formation of molecular cloudes, stars and planets, MHD, radiation transport, HEDP

 DANIEL HOLLADAY

POSTDOC, EULERIAN CODES, XCP-2

nLTE opacities, radiation transport, HPC, heterogeneous computing

 CHRISTOPHER MAUNEY

POSTDOC, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Dust formation, supernovae, density functional theory

 JONAH MILLER

CNLS FELLOW, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Numerical relativity, numerical methods, hydrodynamics

 PETER POLKO

POSTDOC, NUCLEAR & PARTICLE PHYSICS, ASTROPHYSICS, & COSMOLOGY, T-2

 BENJAMIN RYAN

DIRECTOR'S FELLOW, COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS & METHODS, CCS-2

Black hole astrophysics, radiation transport, magnetohydrodynamics, numerical methods

 ALEX SPACEK

POSTDOC, EULERIAN CODES, XCP-2

Galaxy evolution, interstellar medium, computational astrophysics

 AMANDA TRUITT

POSTDOC, THEORETICAL DESIGN, XTD

Stellar evolution modeling (TYCHO), asteroid impact mitigation (xRAGE), habitable zones, astrobiology

 TIM WATERS

POSTDOC, NUCLEAR & PARTICLE PHYSICS, ASTROPHYSICS, & COSMOLOGY, T-2

AGN, X-ray binaries, magnetohydrodynamics, hydrodynamical instabilities

 SUZANNAH WOOD

POSTDOC, THEORETICAL DESIGN, XTD

Steller evolution, stellar pulsations

STUDENTS

The Center for Theoretical Astrophysics sponsors student researchers to visit LANL at all levels: high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and post-masters. The vast majority of students are at LANL during the summer and the CTA typically supports 20-30 students during the summer. Additionally there are also opportunities for longer-term appointments, up to 2 years, in the CTA for post-baccalaureate, post-masters, and graduate students. The ideal time to apply for a summer appointment is November or December. To view profiles of our current students click here.

CONTACT

For more information on any of our activities or to inquire about opportunities to work with our team, please use the contact information below or contact the appropriate team member directly.

  • Chris Fryer (Director)
  •  fryer@lanl.gov
  •  CTA_recruitment@lanl.gov
  •  +1 (505) 665-3394
  • PO Box 1663
  • MS D409
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos, NM 87545