All meetings and special seminars are on Thursday at 3:30 PM in Dearborn Observatory Room 23. Please contact Fred Rasio if you would like to volunteer to present something or suggest a topic for discussion. We can accommodate any format, from short informal talks on recent research results to journal-club style discussions and special seminars by visitors.

  Spring Quarter 2002

June 10, 2002

Special Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar
John Fregeau (MIT)
Title: "Mass Segregation in Globular Clusters"

This is our last meeting for this academic year!

June 3, 2002

Special Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar
Dr. Eric Ford (Princeton)
Title: "Prospects for Imaging Extrasolar Planetary Systems"

May 20, 2002

Special Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar
Dr. Marc Freitag (Caltech)
Title: "Collisions, Tidal Disruptions and Captures of Stars: Monte Carlo Simulations Explore the Violence in the Centers of Galaxies.

May 13, 2002

Special Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar
Dr. Duncan Lorimer (University of Manchester)
Title: "New Radio Pulsar Discoveries at Parkes, Green Bank and Arecibo"

May 6, 2002

Ato Gürkan will give a tutorial talk on neutron star interiors and radio pulsar glitches, and Chris Belczynski will tell us about his recent work on the Galactic microquasar GRS 1915+105.

April 29, 2002

There will be two presentations:

Chunglee Kim will talk about her work on the coalescence rate of double neutron stars, and she will also give us some of the news from the APS meeting in Albuquerque.

David Lin will talk about the latest news on measurements of neutron star spin frequencies during X-ray bursts in LMXBs. You may have read about this in newspapers this week...

April 15, 2002

Tomek Bulik, who is visiting us from the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Warsaw, Poland, will give a talk on "ARE THERE STRANGE STARS AROUND US? ... Millisecond pulsars, LMXBs and the dense star equation of state".
see, e.g.,

  Winter Quarter 2002

March 19, 2002

Josh Faber will give a presentation on "Measuring the Neutron Star Radius with LIGO" and Manolis Angelakis will tell us about his undergraduate research project on "Frequency Evolution of Integrated Pulse Profiles" (from radio pulsars).

March 12, 2002

Today we will hear about two recent conferences:

IAU Colloquium 187 on "Exotic Stars as Challenges to Evolution"
(Natasha Ivanova)

ITP Conference on "Black Holes: Theory Confronts Reality"
(Vicky Kalogera)

March 5, 2002

Special Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar
Dr. Andreas Zezas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Title: "Chandra Observations of Nearby Galaxies"

February 19, 2002

Philippe Grandclément will talk about his recent work on the effects of spin-orbit misalignments on the detection of gravitational waves from compact binary inspiral, and Fred Rasio will discuss the new paper by Cole Miller and Doug Hamilton on "Four-body effects in globular cluster black hole coalescence".

February 5, 2002

Philippe Grandclément will talk about a very entertaining new paper by Neil Cornish, David Spergel, and Charles Bennett entitled "Journey to the edge of time: The GREAT mission" available at

And, Chris Belczynski, Natasha Ivanova and Fred Rasio will lead an informal discussion about some recent issues in the treatment of common envelope phases in binary star evolution.

January 29, 2002

Josh Faber will give an overview of recent work on Cosmic Microwave Background fluctuations.

Two relevant preprints:

How much will we learn from the CMB? by David Langlois [astro-ph/0201075]

Experimental CMB Status and Prospects by S. Staggs & S. Church [astro-ph/0111576]

January 22, 2002

David Lin will present a tutorial talk on Type-I X-Ray Bursts, and Fred Rasio will go over the latest Chandra observations of the Galactic Center region, which reveal a large population of X-ray binaries: see the letter by Wang et al. in last week's Nature (415, 148), and also the News & Views article by Andreas Eckart (Nature 415, 128).

January 15, 2002

Vicky Kalogera will present some highlights from last week's AAS meeting in Washington, DC.

Ato Gürkan and Josh Faber will talk about issues in parallel programming and Linux clusters, based on what they learned at the LCI workshop last week in Albuquerque.

  Fall Quarter 2001

December 18, 2001

Farhad Yusef-Zadeh will give us an informal talk on "The Origin of the Galactic X-Ray Background."

You may want to read the recent paper on this by Valinia et al. (2000, ApJ 543, 733).

Also this week, Ron Taam will discuss the recent developments in magnetic braking, based on the new paper by Andronov, Pinsonneault, & Sills; see

December 11, 2001

Chris Belczynski will give us an update on recent measurements of stellar black hole masses.

You may want to take a look at the letter by Greiner et al. in the last issue of Nature, vol. 414, p. 522, and the corresponding News and Views article by Bailyn: Nature (414, 499)

Natasha Ivanova will tell us about her recent work on mergers of massive stars (

December 4, 2001

Josh Faber will give an informal talk on "Quark Matter in Neutron Stars", and Fred Rasio will present an overview of recent observations (from a theorist's point of view!) of X-ray sources in globular clusters, based on the brand-new review paper by Frank Verbunt ( and other recent preprints by Grindlay and collaborators.

November 13, 2001

First Theoretical Astrophysics Group meeting.

After a brief discussion of organizational issues for the group, Vicky Kalogera will present some highlights from the Penn State Gravitational Wave Phenomenology Workshop, which several of us attended last week, and Philippe Grandclément will give an informal talk on "Binary Black Holes in Circular Orbits," (see his recent papers gr-qc/0106016 and gr-qc/0106015).

  Past Seminars