Department News

Jan 02, 2019 - Kaib wins NSF Career Award

OU astronomy professor Nathan Kaib is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award in the amount of $521,258.  It is thought that protoplanets, the bodies that eventually gave rise to planets, formed by a process known as accretion during the early life of our Solar System. This process cannot, of course, be studied directly. Little is known about how accretion proceeds at different distances from the Sun. Professor Kaib's work will address questions of Solar System development by using sophisticated computer modeling techniques. His team will also reassess the development of the giant planets and the Kuiper Belt of the outer Solar System. He will establish astronomy and planetary science education programs at the Sam Noble Museum, Oklahoma's state natural history museum. He will design classroom programs for visiting school groups as well as adding to the museum's catalog of Discovery Kits, which can be loaned free of charge across the state.

Professor Kaib will use a GPU-accelerated N-body code to directly simulate the construction of rocky protoplanets via runaway and oligarchic growth. The same code will be used to build a self-consistent model of the dynamical evolution of the early outer solar system. Finally, he will use a new N-body algorithm to understand the interplay between planetary and triple star dynamics within the Alpha Centauri and other multiple star systems.


Congrats Nate on a well deserved honor!

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