Département de physique
Université de Montréal
C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville
Canada H3C 3J7
Research field: Massive stars.
Description of the research project:
Anthony Moffat's research aims to better understand the properties and evolution of massive stars and the key role they play in galaxies' dynamics. Massive stars include all stars whose initial mass is greater than eight times that of the Sun. These stars end their lives after a few million years and become neutron stars or black holes after the explosive phase of supernova. During the explosion, they release heavy-element enriched material into the interstellar medium, ready to form new generations of stars and planets like the Earth. The main objectives of Anthony Moffat's research are: 1) to discover if stellar radiation pressure alone is sufficient to accelerate the extreme winds of pre-supernova stars; 2) to participate in the active use of the BRITE-Constellation (a first for Canada) microsatellite system to study the low-instability properties of a large sample of bright stars; 3) to understand the exact way in which winds accelerate around hot bright-stars and what is the role of instabilities and magnetic fields in this process; 4) to determine the upper mass limit of the most massive stars; 5) to determine the content of Wolf-Rayet stars (WR, the helium-rich descendants of massive stars) throughout our Galaxy; 6) to discover if WR-stars really explode as supernova, leading in some cases to the most energetic phenomenon (although of short duration) in the Universe, gamma-ray bursts.
Prix et distinctions: