Colloquium: “Utilizing Optical Interferometry to Advance our Knowledge of Stellar Disks” April 4, 2018, at 4pm

Dr. Christopher Tycner, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics, College of Science and Engineering at Central Michigan University
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 4:00 PM

There will be a reception with refreshments at 3:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


Long-baseline optical and IR interferometers now routinely resolve the disk and disk-like structures around stars.  The typical angular scales resolved by current generation of instruments are at the sub-milli-arcsecond level. In this presentation, I will introduce the fundamental principles behind long-baseline optical interferometry, as well as describe the practical implementation based on the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI), a joint project between the U.S. Naval Observatory, Navy Research Laboratory, and Lowell Observatory. Specific examples of observations obtained at the NPOI of spatially resolved circumstellar disks will be presented.

I will describe how interferometric observations with complementary spectroscopic data are used to constrain the numerical models of circumstellar disks.  Such tests can in turn be used to determine the physical properties of the disks, investigate rotationally enhanced mass-loss processes, and study the effects of a secondary star on a circumprimary disk in binaries.

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