Alex Chen and Yajie Yuan, both assistant professors of physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, have received a $447,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create a unified model of pulsars, rapidly rotating neutron stars that release mysterious pulses of electromagnetic radiation.
The researchers will build computer simulations of the high-energy phenomena in an attempt to explain the observations collected by gamma-ray, X-ray, and radio telescopes around the world. Astronomers have spent decades collecting data from more than 2,000 known pulsars, but no one has created a model that accounts for the full spectrum of energies, Chen said.
“We’re trying to tie everything together,” Chen said. “It’s one of the first attempts to use a single theoretical framework to understand simultaneously the various frequencies of radiation.”
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