Dr Daniel Whalen
Telephone: +44 (0)2392 843036Office: DS3.04CV
Research interests: Primordial Star Formation, Pop III Supernovae, Early Chemical Enrichment by the First Supernovae, Birth and Evolution of the First Supermassive Black Holes, Cluster Lenses as Cosmic Telescopes: Finding the First SNe and Primitive Galaxies
I joined ICG as a senior lecturer in astrophysics in Jan 2016. I completed my PhD on the H II regions of the first stars with Michael Norman at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Nov 2006 and was then a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Lab from 2006 – 2009. I was then awarded the McWilliams Fellowship in Cosmology at Carnegie Mellon University, where I worked from 2009 – 2012. Afterwards, I returned to LANL for 2 years as a research scientist before accepting a five-year position at ITA at the University of Heidelberg in 2014.
One of my current research lines is on the birth and evolution of the first quasars in the universe with cosmological simulations performed with the Enzo adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code. Our goal is to eventually predict the properties of quasars at 5 < z < 15 and compute synthetic observables for them in the NIR, Ly-alpha and at 21 cm in anticipation of Euclid, WFIRST, SKA, ALMA, JWST and the ELTs.
We are also developing models of the formation of the first stars with Enzo that follow for the first time the radiation from the protostars and the rise of magnetic fields in the accretion disk, both of which are key to the fragmentation of the disk and the numbers and masses of the stars that later form in the host halo. An eventual goal is to model line and continuum photon emission from the disk with high-order radiation transport methods such as implicit Monte Carlo (IMC) to determine its true thermal state and propensity for fragmentation. We also intend to eventually apply these methods to the formation of supermassive stars in line-cooled halos at later epochs to model the birth of supermassive black holes (SMBHs).Postgraduate students supervised: Marco Surace (2015 - present); Carla Bernhardt (2015 - present); Sam Patrick (Fall 2016)
Publications from UKADS
Publications from INSPIRE
Publications from arXiv
Publications from the UoP Research Portal
External talks (academic)
External talks (outreach)