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Alan C. Calder

Associate Professor
Physics and Astronomy
(631) 632-1176


I am an associate professor in the  Astronomy Group within the  Department of Physics and Astronomy at  Stony Brook University. My research is in the field of nuclear astrophysics, and my work involves simulating explosive astrophysical phenomena. I also have extensive experience with large-scale computing.

Prior to coming to Stony Brook, I had research appointments at the  National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the  University of Chicago, where I was at the  Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes. I was also an instructor at the  School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

My research is principally in bright stellar explosions known as Type Ia supernovae. These events produce and disseminate heavy elements and are therefore important for galactic chemical evolution. Also, the light curves of these events can be standardized and thereby used as distance indicators for cosmology studies investigating the expansion history of the Universe. I perform detailed simulations of these events to explore how factors such as the age or composition of the progenitor affect the brightness of an event. Understanding such systematic effects is critical to addressing the issue of the intrinsic scatter of these events, a source of significant uncertainty in cosmological studies.

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