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Simulating populations of massive stars

Supervisors: Dr. Dorottya Szécsi & Prof. Stefanie Walch-Gassner

Massive and very massive stars play important roles in stellar populations by ejecting strong stellar winds and exploding in energetic phenomena. For example, simulations of star-forming regions and predictions of gravitational-wave event rates both rely on pre-computed stellar evolutionary model sequences of mas- sive and very massive stars1.

However, such evolutionary models need to be computed, double checked for numerical inconsistencies, and post-processed into the right format so that complex astrophysical studies can apply them. These stud- ies include the 3D hydrodynamical simulations of star-forming regions with the SILCC code2 of Prof. Ste- fanie Walch-Gassner, and eventually even the prediction of gravitational-wave event rates with the binary population synthesis code COMPAS3.

The purpose of this Master project is to compute and maintain stellar evolutionary models of massive and very massive stars with various initial compositions and rotational rates. The student will learn to use the Bonn Stellar Evolution Code4 to create model populations similar to those on the Figure. These model populations will be then used in studies of star-formation and gravitational-wave predictions.

Thus, the student will learn about the physics of massive stars, star-formation and gravitational-wave emit- ting compact object mergers. Also, they will have the chance to write or contribute to articles on these relevant and very timely research topics.

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