Francois Foucart is the recipient of the 2013 Beatrice and Vincent Tremaine Fellowship
Foucart is the 15th recipient of the Tremaine Fellowship which is awarded annually at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics. He was selected for his outstanding work in numerical simulations in general relativity. In particular Foucart is studying mergers of black holes and neutron stars, and the long-term evolution of accretion disks.
At the time of the award, he had published five papers in 2012/13, among them:
“Black hole-neutron star mergers for 10 M⊙ black holes” Phys. Rev. D 85, 044015 (2012) In this paper, Foucart and collaborators produced the first general relativistic simulations of massive black holes merging with neutron stars, trying to better clarify the collisions that produce the short gamma ray bursts detected in the universe. Until now, merger simulations had been limited to low mass black holes even though population models indicated that the majority of mergers might involve more common ten-solar mass black holes. Foucart broke through a technological and coding bottleneck to produce these more realistic simulations.
In “Black-hole–neutron-star mergers: Disk mass predictions” Phys. Rev. D 86, 124007 (2012) Foucart looked at the amount of matter that could remain outside a black hole in the accretion disk, the tidal tail, and in the matter ejected after mergers, predicting what kinds of collisions could produce accretion disks and could power short bursts of gamma rays.
In “Black-hole-neutron-star mergers at realistic mass ratios: Equation of state and spin orientation effects” Phys. Rev. D 87, 084006 (2013) he considered what mergers would produce both gravitational waves and electromagnetic signals, and how much the post-merger remnant that might be detected depended on three things: the mass ratio, the spin of the black hole, and the radius of the neutron star. For large neutron stars, the merger could eject enough matter that the afterglow could be detected in the radio and optical wavelengths.
Foucart is a post-doctoral fellow at CITA.
The Tremaine Fellowship is given annually in memory of Beatrice D. and Vincent J. Tremaine to honor their lifelong interest in mathematics, science and learning. The award was initially established at CITA by Vincent Tremaine in memory of his wife Beatrice when their son, Scott Tremaine, was the first director.
Published: August 23, 2013