• 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. Members of the CTA also extensively collaborate with other laboratory institutions including: The Center for Space and Earth Science, The Center for Nonlinear Studies, and The Information Science and Technology Institute.

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.

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

OUTREACH

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

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. APPPLY
  • 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

     FAN GUO

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

    Charged particle transport, magnetic reconnection and turbulence, collisionless shocks, wave and particle interaction

     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

     DENNIS BOWEN

    COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS, XCP

    General relativity, MHD, accretion disks

     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

     MATTHEW GILMER

    POSTDOC, THEORETICAL DESIGN, XTD

    Supernovae

     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

     INGO TEWS

    DIRECTOR'S FELLOW, NUCLEAR & PARTICLE PHYSICS, ASTROPHYSICS, & COSMOLOGY, T-2

    Neutron Matter, chiral EFT, three-nucleon forces

     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

    PAST CTA POSTDOCS

    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