Modeling stellar convective dynamos with 3D numerical simulations

Presenter:  Loren Matilsky

Abstract: One of the major goals of modern astrophysics is to understand the large-scale magnetic fields of rotating stars. Such fields play important roles in a wide range of phenomena, including stellar mass loss, spin-down, chemical evolution, and even the habitability of orbiting planets. In low-mass stars, large-scale fields are generated by vigorous fluid motions in an outer convective envelope. These motions act as a "dynamo": they produce electric currents that inductively sustain large-scale magnetism against dissipative effects. In this talk, I will review the main aspects of the stellar dynamo problem, including observations, theory, and numerical simulation. I will focus on my proposed work (that funds my postdoc here at UC Santa Cruz) to understand the observed "stellar activity rotation relation" (the scaling of stellar dynamo strength with rotation rate) in the context of 3D numerical simulations.

Bio: Dr. Loren Matilsky is an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow in the Applied Mathematics Department at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to Santa Cruz, Dr. Matilsky received his Ph.D. in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences in 2022 from the University of Colorado Boulder, advised by Profs. Juri Toomre and Bradley Hindman. Dr. Matilsky's interests broadly include astrophysical fluid dynamics, stellar dynamo action, and numerical simulations, which he studies as part of the NSF Fellowship under the sponsorship Prof. Nicholas Brummell. Dr. Matilsky also enjoys trail running in slightly unpleasant weather conditions and playing guitar.

Hosted by: Professor Marcella Gomez

Zoom link:

Location: Thimann Lab 101

Monday, November 27, 2023 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Thimann Laboratories, 101
568 Steinhart Way, Santa Cruz, California 95064