The origin of stars is a fundamental problem of astrophysics. Stars are formed in cold interstellar clouds by the interaction of gravity, magnetic fields, and turbulence. A goal of my research is to explain the origin of their mass and formation rate.
Because star-forming gas is highly turbulent, the study of star formation involves the study of turbulence as well. I carry out supercomputer simulations of supersonic, self-gravitating, magnetized turbulence to model observed star-forming regions.
Observational evidence shows planet formation occurs rapidly during the earliest phases of circumstellar disk evolution. My research focuses on the study of these early phases of disk evolution, as they define the initial conditions for planet formation.