Research

Research

You can always write me at if there's anything you want to know more about.



Lyman α radiative transfer:

My main expertise and interest lies in the field of Lyman α radiative transfer (RT). When galaxies form, they are expected to emit massive amounts of Lyα photons which, if interpreted correctly, may reveal much about how the galaxies formed, and which physical conditions governed them. During my Ph.D. I developed a numerical code ("MoCaLaTA") that simulates the Lyα RT in the interstellar medium, enabling us to predict and interpret various properties of the appearance and the spectra — and hence of the nature — of young galaxies.
  •   • Ph.D. research
  •   • Lyα radiation
  •   • Radiative transfer

  • Reionization of the Universe:

    A different code, also developed during my Ph.D., calculates the RT in the intergalactic medium (IGM). Besides revealing how the spectrum from Lyα emitting galaxies is altered by the surrounding IGM, we could also use it to constrain the time at which the Universe was reionized by the hard UV radiation escaping the first galaxies, the so-called Epoch of Reionization.
  •   • IGMtransfer (the code)
  •   • Epoch of Reionization

  • Cosmic dust:

    A very important ingredient in Lyα RT is dust. Since Lyα scatters millions of times on neutral hydrogen before escaping a galaxy, its path length will be tremendously increased, and thus even a tiny amount of dust mixed within the gas may be able to absorb a significant fraction of the photons, and even reshape the spectrum. To this end I implemented a model of dust in MoCaLaTA.
  •   • Dust

  • Gamma-ray bursts:

    Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are violent explosions marking the death of a massive star (or two compact objects such as neutron stars or black holes). To learn about the nature of the surrounding environments of such objects, I have modified MoCaLaTA to simulate the RT of X- and gamma-rays, enabling us to put constraints on the metallicity of the gas in which GRBs are born.
  •   • Gamma-ray burst

  • Lyα emission from damped Lyα absorbers:

    Damped Lyα absorbers are huge clouds of neutral hydrogen, discovered as broad absorption lines in quasar spectra (or other bright objects), thought to be the progenitors of present-day's galaxies. If so, in principle they should also be observable in emission, in particular in Lyα emission, due to star formation. However, this has been seen only a few times, so any new detection is still interesting. Thus, we continuously carry out observations targeting metal-rich DLAs from the SDSS, using the X-shooter at the VLT, Chile..
  •   • Damped Lyα absorbers