Brian Flores

  • Graduate Student
OEH 109A Desk #10


My research is focused on studying massive stars' stellar winds - a continuous  flow of material from its surface driven by the stars' own radiation. These winds affects the physics of the stars' atmosphere, thus significantly impacting its surface abundances, chemical profile, and luminosity. More importantly, stellar winds are a form of mass loss which substantially influences a star's evolutionary time-scale and its  final fate as a neutron star after a supernova explosion or its collapse into a black hole. Additionally, in the course of the star's lifetime, they deposit mechanical energy into the interstellar medium, enriching it by ejecting nuclear processed material, conditioning it for star formation, and producing large complex structures such as superbubbles. Because of this, massive stars are often referred to as "galactic engines".

Currently, I'm working  with Dr. John Hillier to improve his code CMFGEN - a radiative transfer code designed to solve the radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations for synthesizing spectra of massive stars (i.e. OBA-type stars,  yellow supergiants, Luminous Blue Variables, Wolf-Rayet stars). The synthesized spectra is then compared to observed spectra of these objects from which we can characterize their atmosphere and stellar winds.

Under Dr. Hillier guidance, my research entails modeling stellar winds of varying mass distribution and studying their affects on its spectra, implementing more physics into his code such as convections beneath the photosphere, and studying the LBVs' variability and derive reliable stellar parameters such as luminosity, effective temperature, surface gravity, and abundances of elements in the star. 


Graduate Advisor

D. John Hillier
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