I am a theoretical nuclear astrophysicist working as an assistant professor at the Physics Department of Manhattan College. My research in neutron star astrophysics focuses on the studies of structure, composition, and dynamics of neutron stars (mass, radii, moments of inertia, tidal deformability, nuclear pasta, cooling processes, gravitational wave emissions, etc.) through developing and employing the equation of state of neutron-star matter. My research in nuclear theory focuses on the understanding of isovector nuclear interaction through building and developing nuclear energy density functionals in the context of the relativistic mean-field and Skyrme Hartree-Fock models, and through studies of the density dependence of the nuclear symmetry energy, neutron and weak charge distribution, and the neutron skin thickness of medium to heavy nuclei. My research publications can be found on my Google Scholar page or in my ADS private library.

Rapid neutrino cooling in the neutron star MXB 1659-29

In a collaboration led by Prof. Edward F. Brown, we have found the first direct evidence for the enhanced neutrino emission mechanism in the neutron star MXB 1659-29. Our work was recently published in the Physical Review LettersA nice Viewpoint is presented by Prof. James M. Lattimer that is now published in the APS Physics. Several newsletters picked up on this work including Science News, Interesting Engineering, and some Russian sources such as Риа Новости, N+1

Connecting Neutron Skins to Gravitational Waves 

Our recent research on connecting neutron skins to gravitational waves from binary neutron star mergers (BNS) has been published in the Physical Review Letters. It has also been featured as a highlight on the front page of the APS Physics

In this Letter with Prof. Jorge Piekarewicz and Prof. Chuck Horowitz we showed that the measured value of a tidal polarizability by the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration constrains the nuclear equation of state. In particular, we found that the radius of 1.4 solar-mass neutron star cannot be larger than ≲ 14 km. Using a set of relativistic mean-field models of the equation of state, we have also found that this result would correspond to a neutron skin thickness of Pb-208 to be ≲ 0.25 fm.  
Some press release articles were published subsequently that summarize our work for non-specialists, including the articles in Inside Science, Physics World. and Sky & Telescope

Deep Crustal Heating by Neutrinos 

In collaboration with Prof. Edward F. Brown, Prof. Andrew Cumming, Prof. Alex Deibel, Prof. Chuck Horowitz, Prof. Bao-An Li and Dr. Zidu Lin we have recently presented a new mechanism of heating the inner crust of accreting neutron stars, where we used a novel idea that charged pions produced during nuclear collisions will decay and provide a flux of neutrinos which in turn travel towards the inner regions of the crust and deposit their energies by scattering and absorption  We find that for massive and compact neutron stars neutrinos can deposit as large as 2 MeV energy per accreted nucleon. The strength of this neutrino heating is found to be comparable to the previously known sources of deep crustal heating, such as from pycnonuclear fusion reactions, and is relevant for studies of cooling neutron stars.By modeling the thermal evolution of a transient neutron star in a low-mass x-ray binary, and in the particular case of the neutron star MXB 1659-29 we showed that additional deep crustal heating requires a higher thermal conductivity for the neutron star inner crust. We also concluded that a better knowledge of pion-production cross sections near threshold should improve the accuracy of our predictions. This paper is published in the Physical Review C. 

Large Volume Quantum Simulations of Nuclear Pasta
Nuclear Pasta

In collaboration with Chuck Horowitz and Bastian Schuetrumpf we demonstrated the first large volume microscopic quantum calculations of nuclear pasta, which is published in the Physical Review C

From left to right: gnocchi, spaghetti, and lasagna phases. The figure is taken from our paper published in the Phys. Rev. C 95, 055804 (2017).