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Research projects

Astrophysical spectroscopy

Radiation transport in stellar atmospheres and fundamental methods of astro-physical spectroscopy. 

One of our main goals is to understand the physics of stars, in particular, what physical processes govern energy transport in stellar atmospheres and shape their emergent radiation spectra, from UV to the Infra-Red. 

We develop models in NLTE with 1D hydrostatic and 3D hydrodynamic models of stellar atmospheres
and the tools for quantitative spectroscopy
http://nlte.mpia.de


Large-scale stellar surveys

Development of new statistical methods for the analysis of million datasets of stellar spectra. 

We are leading one of the major consortium surveys on the next-generation wide-field high-multiplex 4MOST spectroscopic facility
http://www.4most.eu

Our goal is to observe 2.5 million stars in the Milky Way at high-resolution to provide decisive constraints on the formation and evolution of the main Galactic components, the disc and the bulge.


Cosmic Chemical Evolution

The formation of the heavy elements is one of the most fascinating topics and it poses one of the remaining open questions in physics. Fe-peak elements are produced in core-collapse and thermonuclar supernovae.
Elements heavier than Fe are mainly formed through neutron-captures. Up to half of all the known isotopes are created by a 'rapid neutron-capture process’, a process that may be associated with supernovae or neutron star mergers. 

The nature of these process is poorly constrained and can observationally best be explored through chemical tagging of old, metal-poor stars, which we analyse using ultra-high-resolution spectroscopy. 


Stellar Populations in Galaxies

Evolution of stellar populations, from star clusters to the Milky Way and star-forming galaxies. 

We are interested in different aspectrs of observational galactic chemo-dynamics, including nucleosynthesis of elements, abundance gradients in the Milky Way and its satellities, Galactic archeology and the structure of the Milky Way disk, bulge, and the halo.

As part of a large international collaboration, we are also involved in spectroscopic studies of extragalactic abundance gradients. 


Exoplanet Hosts

An important application of our methods are stars, which are known to be spectroscopically very similar to the Sun, the so-called ‘solar twins’. Most of them are confirmed exoplant host stars.

Modern spectroscopic surveys provide unique spectra of such stars. Very accurate methods developed in the course of our project are be used to find and characterise these objects, thus providing an exciting way to search for stellar systems like our own. We are members in the PLATO collaboration.

 
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