Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
Winter Project
Supervisor(s): 
Professor David Moriarty

Suitable for:  Students with interest in astrophysics, or studying physics, maths, engineering or computing.  Programming ability is essential.

Project description:  The mass of a star is a fundamental property governing its evolution.  The evolution of single stars is well understood but some very close binary stars can transfer mass from one star to the other, resulting in strange evolutionary paths.  We will analyse optical spectroscopy of several binary stars to measure their masses and determine if there is any mass flow between them.  This will use data from the ANU 2.3m Telescope.  The project will focus on developing methods to emasure velocities from the spectra of the stars.

Expected outcomes:  This project will train students in independent research, report writing, data analysis and computing skills.  Students may also be asked to produce a report or oral presentation at the end of their project.

Projection duration:  6 weeks

Primary Supervisor:  Professor David Moriarty (David is an Honorary Senior Fellow with SMP) - djwmoriarty@bigpond.com.  Secondary supervisor is Professor Michael Drinkwater (m.drinkwater@uq.edu.au)