Mukremin Kilic

Assistant Professor



B.S. 1999 Boğaziçi University

Ph.D. 2006 University of Texas



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Ph: (405) 325-6611

Office: 137 Nielsen Hall


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Research Description

I am interested in identifying the progenitors of Type Ia supernovae explosions. These supernovae are used as cosmological distance indicators to measure the expansion history of the universe. To use supernovae as cosmological probes requires an understanding of the initial conditions. This is only possible by identifying the types of stars that may lead to an explosion. I use several different telescopes in Arizona and Texas to search for short period binary systems that may merge relatively quickly. We have recently identified binary white dwarf systems with orbital periods as short as 12 minutes. These systems will merge in a few million years and possibly form faint supernovae.

I am also interested in the formation and the fate of planetary systems around Sun-like stars. The short main-sequence lifetimes of intermediate-mass stars and the small radii of remnant white dwarfs impy that the planetary systems around massive stars can be effectively studied after the hosts have been transformed into white dwarfs. Along with pulsars, white dwarfs also provide a unique opportunity to study the effects of the late stages of stellar evolution on planetary systems. I use ground-based telescopes in Chile and Hawaii and the Spitzer Space Telescope to search for planetary companions and debris disks around white dwarfs. I study the elemental abundances of these debris disks, which indicate that the disks contain mostly metals and they are the remains of tidally disrupted asteroids and small planets.

Selected Publications

"Found: the progenitors of AM CVn and supernovae .Ia," M. Kilic et al., MNRAS, 438, L26, (2014) ADS: 2014MNRAS.438L..26K

"The runaway binary LP 400-22 is leaving the Galaxy," M. Kilic et al., MNRAS, 434, 3582, (2013) ADS: 2013MNRAS.434.3582K

"The shortest period detached binary white dwarf system," M. Kilic et al., MNRAS, 413, L101, (2011) ADS: 2011MNRAS.413L.101K

"The Discovery of Binary White Dwarfs that will Merge Within 500 Myr," M. Kilic, W. R. Brown, C. Allende Prieto, S. J. Kenyon, and J. A. Panei, Astrophysical Journal, 716, 122, (2010) ADS: 2010ApJ...716..122K

"Visitors from the Halo: 11 Gyr Old White Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood," M. Kilic et al., Astrophysical Journal, 715, 21, (2010) ADS: 2010ApJ...715L..21K

"Limits on Unresolved Planetary Companions to White Dwarf Remnants of 14 Intermediate-Mass Stars," M. Kilic, A. Gould, and D. Koester, Astrophysical Journal, 705, 1219, (2009) ADS: 2009ApJ...705.1219K

"Debris Disks around White Dwarfs: The DAZ Connection," M. Kilic, T. von Hippel, S. K. Leggett, and D. E. Winget, Astrophysical Journal, 646, 474, (2006) ADS: 2006ApJ...646..474K

See more publications.

Research Group

Alex Gianninas, Post Doc
Paul Canton, Graduate Student