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Jocelyn Read







Jocelyn Read


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I study neutron star astrophysics and gravitational waves. Neutron stars are the collapsed remnants of massive stars, the most compact astrophysical objects outside of black holes, and the place where matter makes it's last stand against the overwhelming force of gravity. Inside a neutron star, matter is compressed into strange new forms, pushing the limits of our understanding of condensed matter and particle interactions.  Like many stars, neutron stars can be found in binary systems, where pairs of neutron stars orbit. As they do so, they lose energy to gravitational waves, eventually spiralling towards each other and colliding. This will release huge amounts of energy in gravitational-wave signals that LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, hopes to observe. These collisions may also explain some of the Gamma Ray Bursts seen by space telescopes like NASA's Fermi. My group and I work to understand and model how neutron stars interact, collide, and radiate energy, so that observations can tell us new things about their structure and composition.

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