Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Druv Punjabi L&S Sciences

Constraining Type Ia Supernovae Luminosities

Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are a category of exploding stars, and serve as one of the most important tools for probing our universe today. Because of their extreme and consistent luminosity, they are widely used to measure distances to faraway galaxies. Determining these large-scale distances allows a better understanding of the universe’s expansion, and thus of dark energy itself, the driver behind the expansion’s acceleration. Several recent studies have suggested that the luminosities of these supernovae can be better standardized if we factor in the properties of their host galaxies, such as the galaxy’s mass or age. This project aims to statistically correlate these properties with models of SNe Ia luminosities. We also pursue a new method of standardizing these luminosities, which would ultimately improve the cosmological applications of distance measurements with SNe Ia, advancing our understanding of dark energy.

Message To Sponsor

This has been a valuable experience that has allowed me to explore my interest in supernovae cosmology and develop important skills that are necessary for research in astrophysics. Exploring the effects of host galaxies on the luminosities of Type Ia supernovae has made me keener to pursue a research career in the field, and I very much look forward to continuing this project and completing a thesis. Thank you sincerely for your support!
Profile image of Druv Punjabi
Major: Mathematics, Physics
Mentor: Alex Filippenko
Sponsor: Anselm Fund
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