Jing Luan 栾静

Astrophysics CV Data Science CV

Contact: jingluan.xw AT gmail.com

I study analytic or semi-analytic models to unveil the physics behind astrophysical phenomena which may interest and get appreciated by scientifically literate people. My research interests are broad, including but not limited to orbital dynamics, tidal interaction mechanisms (dynamic tides, resonance locking), stellar pulsation (Asteroseismology), physical libration, scintillation of radio signal, thermal inertia of rubble pile. These processes influence the evolution of dynamic systems like star-planet or planet-satellite systems. They are also useful in probing stellar and planetary interiors. Most recent projects are listed below. I also enjoy teaching. I recently co-teach a summer class at UC Berkeley named 'Order of Magnitude Physics'. A short video of one of my classes is also attached below.

Enceladus, an icy satellite of Saturn, is incredibly active now, with water geysers being ejected out of cracks on its south polar region. Bearing liquid water and heat resource, it is one of the most popular places to look for life. I work on its evolutionary path which settles Enceladus on its current state. Video presentation is available through the link on the right (click the figure).

Outbursting and pulsating white dwarfs with hydrogen atmospheres. White dwarfs with hydrogen atmospheres have been observed to oscillate within a narrow temperature range. Although their oscillations are believed to be driven by convection, it has been a puzzle what sets up the cool edge of the temperature range. In 2015, some of them are found to outburst sporadically, which was a new phenomenon. My work explains both the cool edge and the outbursts, which although seem to be two separated puzzles are actually closely related! Video presentation is available on the right.

How Saturn tidally interacts with its satellites? Resonance locking and how the spacecraft Cassini may constrain the theory. The conventional belief that tidal interaction shall decay rapidly with distance conflicts with the fact that some Saturnian satellites are currently migrating fast. Resonance locking, namely locking an internal oscillation mode of Saturn with a satellite, is a tidal interaction mechanism that naturally matches the current satellite migration. The spacecraft, Cassini, hopefully would provide observational constraints on this mechanism and furthermore put constraints on the internal structure of Saturn. Video presentation is available on the right.

Teaching is a lot of fun. Questions from my students force me to think deeper and improve my own understanding of physics. Teaching is fulfilling and enjoyable. It makes me feel that I am doing something beneficial to other people, which strongly dilutes the feeling of frustration when research is not going as well as expected. I enjoy the process of 'growing' together with students. On the right, there is a short video recording part of my summer class on order of magnitude physics taught in UC Berkeley summer 2018.