News from the Blondin Research Group


Undergraduate Research

April 26, 2022

NC State physics majors Anna and Keanan presented research posters at the NC State Undergraduate Research & Creativity Symposium. Anna's work quantifies the mass and angular momentum in the accretion flow in Vela X-1, while Keanan presented initial results of a 3D HMXB simulation with a clumpy stellar wind.


PhD Defense

January 5, 2022

Chris Kolb succesfully defended his PhD Thesis Investigating the Complex Circumstellar Environment Around Type IIb/L/n Supernovae Progenitors.


Visualizing Binaries

August, 2021

NC State physics majors Anna and Andrew won first place in NC State's Envisioning Researh Contest in the category of undergraduate video and interactive. With funding from HST they helped develop a hydrodynamic simulation of the mass flow in M33 X-7, a high mass X-ray binary with a black hole companion. Their vizualization depicts the stream lines of the wind that end up in the accretion disk surrounding the black hole.


Visualizing Binaries

January, 2021

NC State physics majors Anna and Andrew developed a 3D visualization of mass transfer in a symbiotic star system to accompany a press release from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This system, Draco C1, has been monitored over the past five years by the APOGEE survey. Our research group has used it as a test case for a new compact binary simulation method.


Tycho Research Highlighted

June 14, 2017

AAS NOVA has highlighted a recent paper by former NCSU graduate student Brian Williams, The Three-dimensional Expansion of the Ejecta from Tycho's Supernova Remnant, with Blondin and Borkowski as co-authors.


Blondin Elected AAAS Fellow

February 18, 2017

Blondin was one of three NC State faculty elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016. He was elected for distinguished contributions to astrophysics and physics education, particularly in supernovae and supernova remnants.


URCA Students Publish SASI Research

November 4, 2016

URCA students Emily Gipson and Sawyer Harris spent the summer of 2014 studying the SASI in the core of a rotating star. Their work has now been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.


Jessie Sullivan presents Kepler research at physcon

November 3, 2016

Jessie and seven other NC State physics students travelled to California for physcon, the quadrennial physics congress and largest gathering of undergraduate physics students in the world. Jessie presented her ongoing research modeling Kepler's supernova remnant.


Chris Kolb wins Research Image Contest

August 3, 2016

Graduate student Chris Kolb won first place in the graphics and illustration category of NC State's first Research Image Contest.


Eric Raymer Defends his Ph.D. Thesis

June 11, 2014

Eric defended his Ph.D. thesis, Three-dimensional Hydrodynamic Simulations of Accretion in High-mass X-ray Binaries in front of faculty, friends, and family. His thesis work has already generated one peer-reviewed publication, with three more wrapping up and soon (?!) to be submitted. Eric is heading off to Columbia University where he will be a Science Fellow.


NuSTAR reveals evidence of SASI

May 6, 2014

Observations with the NuSTAR telescope reported in Nature show that the unshocked Titanium in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A is distributed in a non-uniform way that is consistent with the effects of the SASI. Read the story of the SASI discovery in Deixix.


URCA students named Goldwater Scholars

March 21, 2014

Mia de los Reyes (center) and Alwin Mao (left) have been named 2014 Goldwater Scholars. They both participated in the URCA program in the summer of 2012. Mia is currently an undergraduate at NC State and Alwin is an undergraduate at UC-Berkely.


URCA students attend AAS meeting

January 5, 2014

NC State Astrophysics was well represented at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC. Six of the 2013 URCA participants, one from 2012, graduate student Eric Raymer, and three faculty presented a variety of research projects during the four days of the meeting.


Eric Raymer receives GAANN Fellowship

July 15, 2013

Physics graduate student Eric Raymer has received a GAANN Fellowship in Computational Science to support his graduate studies for his fifth (and final?!) year at NC State. Eric has published already published two papers in which he has used large-scale 3D hydrodynamic simulations to study astrophysical systems. His thesis will apply 3D simulations of gravitational accretion to interpret the x-ray light curves of a new class of interacting binary stars known as Supergiant Fast X-Ray Transients.


Mia de los Reyes wins UGRS Award

April 15, 2013

Physics major Mia de los Reyes was recognized for her outstanding research at the NCSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Her research on Two- and Three-Dimensional Turbulence in Core-Collapse Supernovae began last summer when she participated in the NC State Physics URCA program. She has continued this work during the academic year, including collaboration with researchers at Oak Ridge National Labs. She was presented with her UGRS award at the annual awards banquet of the NCSU Chapter of Sigma Xi.


Supernova on the cover of Science

June 2, 2012

The June issue of Science includes a series of articles on Mysteries of Astronomy, including dark energy, cosmic rays, and exploding stars. The article on supernovae by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee points out that “many details of what goes on inside a star leading up to an explosion, as well as how that explosion unfolds, remain a mystery.” The discovery of the Spherical Accretion Shock Instability, or SASI, by the Blondin group has proven to be a key contribution to the solution of this mystery. The Science article includes visualizations generated from three-dimensional simulations of the SASI computed on supercomputers at the National Center for Computational Sciences.


Grand Opening of the NRC

April 22, 2012

The new wing of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the Nature Research Center, staged a 24-hour grand opening that drew 70,000 visitors. The event included numerous groups lining the streets outside the museum. One of those was the NC State chapter of the Society of Physics Students, who wowed children and adults with fun physics demonstrations.


Professor Blondin joined the fun by giving a ‘science cafe’ style presentation at 3:15 (in the morning!) outside the Astronomy Research Lab on the third floor of the NRC. He talked about supernovae, black holes, and neutron stars. The questions ranged from frame-dragging by a rotating black hole to Captain Kirk and the Enterprise.