Alex Gianninas



B.Sc. Honors Physics 2003 McGill University

Ph.D. Physics 2011 Université de Montréal



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Research Area

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Research Description

Since arriving at the University of Oklahoma, I have been working on the analysis of extremely low mass (ELM) WDs. Contrary to their more massive brethren, these WDs are necessarily the product of the evolution of compact binary systems since the Universe is not yet old enough for ELM WDs to have been produced through normal single-star evolution. In fact, virtually all ELM WDs are found in short period (P < 1 day) binary systems. This is a relatively new area of research and we are discovering many of the same phenomena seen in normal WDs but in an essentially unexplored mass regime. We have also observed several new phenomena that could only arise in such close binary systems. As such, the study of ELM WDs is really exciting work as we try to understand the origin and evolution of a whole new population of WDs.


"Discovery of Three Pulsating, Mixed-Atmosphere, Extremely Low-Mass White Dwarf Precursors," A. Gianninas et al., Astrophysical Journal Letters, 822, L27, (2016) ADS: 2016ApJ...822L..27G

"The ELM Survey. VI. Eleven New Double Degenerates," A. Gianninas et al., Astrophysical Journal, 812, 167, (2015) ADS: 2015ApJ...812..167G

"Ultracool White Dwarfs and the Age of the Galactic Disc," A. Gianninas et al., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 449, 3966, (2015) ADS: 2015MNRAS.449.3966G

"Precise Atmospheric Parameters for the Shortest-period Binary White Dwarfs: Gravitational Waves, Metals, and Pulsations," A. Gianninas et al., Astrophysical Journal, 794, 35, (2014) ADS: 2014ApJ...794...35G

"SDSS J074511.56+194926.5: Discovery of a Metal-Rich and Tidally Distorted Extremely Low Mass White Dwarf," A. Gianninas et al., Astrophysical Journal, 781, 104, (2014) ADS: 2014ApJ...781..104G

"Limb-Darkening Coefficients for Eclipsing White Dwarfs," A. Gianninas et al., Astrophysical Journal, 766, 3, (2013) ADS: 2013ApJ...766....3G

In Research Group

Mukremin Kilic, Assistant Professor

Paul Canton, Graduate Student
Renae Wall, Graduate Student