Physics and Astronomy Graduate Program Eligible to Supervise
Keywords: Astrophysical Transients, Fast Radio Bursts, Pulsars, Magnetars, Neutron Stars
My research centers on observational studies of transient and variable phenomena in high-energy astrophysics. In particular, I study rapidly rotating neutron stars, called pulsars, their highly-magnetized cousins, called magnetars, and the mysterious phenomenon of fast radio bursts (FRBs).
FRBs are flashes of radio light that originate from far outside of our Galaxy. They are nano-seconds to seconds long, yet they release more energy than the Sun does in a thousand years. These bursts therefore allow us to study matter, light, and magnetism in extreme environments. The nature of FRBs is an open question in astrophysics and models range from highly-magnetised neutron stars to the annihilation of dark matter. The most distant known FRBs traverse a significant fraction of the universe and encoded in their signal is a record of the material that they propagate through. FRBs therefore show great promise as probes of the structure of the universe. I primarily use the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) whose novel design allows it to see large swathes of the sky at a time, surveying the entire northern sky once per day. This enormous field-of-view has led to an unprecedented discovery rate of FRBs of several bursts per day. I use CHIME and other telescopes to reveal the nature of FRBs and use them as probes of the universe.