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The School of Natural Sciences


 Growing a Galaxy: From orbital building blocks to black hole mergers

Kathryne J. Daniel, Ph.D.

Department of Physics

Bryn Mawr College



Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022


Location: S&E1 270K



Dynamics is central to a wide variety of astrophysical problems.  It connects across scales, from Saturn’s rings to the formation of the cosmic web, and plays an essential role in galaxy evolution. High precision observations and high resolution simulations have ushered in a golden age of data driven discovery, where unexplained trends in these data underscore a critical need to further develop a robust theoretical framework to interpret them. My research program aims to anchor our understanding of these data in fundamental physics. In this talk, I will demystify the physics that governs various dynamical phenomena in disk galaxies and discuss how theory emerging from this approach has and can unveil the evolutionary history of our home, the Milky Way Galaxy. Finally, I will describe how future gravitational wave experiments will inform our understanding of the evolution of the Universe through black hole mergers.



Professor Kathryne J Daniel’s research focuses on the dynamics that contribute to the evolution of galaxies, like our own Milky Way.  Her theoretical research program provides an analytic foundation describing the physical drivers behind observational trends. She earned her PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2015, assumed a faculty position at Bryn Mawr College the next year and was awarded tenure in 2022. She has received several awards throughout her career including being selected as a Scialog Fellow  (Research Corp & Heising-Simons Foundation), a NSF Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP), and an American Dissertation Fellow for the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  Professor Daniel served on the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) decadal review of the profession (Astro2020) and is a co-founder of the Society of Indigenous Physicists.


For more information, please contact:

Prof. Ajay Gopinathan

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