My current primary research interests are
(1) explosions of massive stars in core-collapse supernovae and long
gamma-ray bursts and their multi-messenger signatures in neutrinos,
gravitational waves, and photons, (2) the formation of stellar mass
and supermassive black holes, and (3) binary black hole and neutron
star mergers. Another line of my research is
concerned with the observation and interpretation of gravitational
waves from astrophysical sources. I was involved in the LIGO Scientific
Collaboration and contributed to the first direct detection of gravitational
I work with the Caltech portion of
the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes
(SXS) collaboration and am also involved in
the Einstein Toolkit. I run
that hosts resources for the stellar collapse and neutron star merger
communities. I have strong collaborative ties with the Yukawa
Institute for Theoretical Physics (YITP) at Kyoto University, Kyoto,
Japan. I presently hold a visiting professorship at YITP.
I am presently leading an NSF CAREER project in Gravitational
Physics. I was a 2012-2014 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.
Trainees/Mentees that won national postdoctoral
fellowships: Evan O'Connor (Junior Faculty, Stockholm University 2016;
Hubble Fellowship 2014; Caltech PhD 2012), Christine Corbett Moran
(NSF Fellowship 2015), Philipp Mösta (Einstein Fellowship 2015),
Christian Reisswig (Einstein Fellowship 2012), Luke Roberts (Einstein
Postdocs shipped off to faculty positions:
Luke Roberts (Michigan State University, 2016),
Sebastiano Bernuzzi (University of Parma, 2015),
Sean Couch (Michigan State University, 2015),
Ernazar Abdikamalov (Nazarbayev University, Kasachstan, 2014)
2009/2010 Winter term: Ay 215 -- Seminar in Theoretical
Astrophysics: Interacting Binaries. Check out the course webpage!
Snapshot from a 3D GR black hole formation simulation (Ott et al. 2011, PRL)
New Stuff (in quasi-chronological order)
2017/04/25Binary Black Holes Inside of
Stars! We simulated what would happen if a pair of black
holes was formed inside high-density stellar gas. It turns out
that dynamical friction with the gas accelerates the coalescence,
creating a unique gravitational wave signature. Our simulations
show that the gravitational waves
that LIGO saw
from GW150914 definitely did not come from a binary black
hole inside a star. Read more
in Fedrow et al.,
arXiv:1704.07383. The movie below shows how the coalescing
black hole pair affects the stellar gas density.
Waters is the National Science Foundation funded leadership
US computing facility operated by
the National Center for
Supercomputing Allocations (NCSA) at the University of
Illinois. The Blue Waters Fellowship is a nationally competed,
highly-selective graduate fellowship that provides a year of
graduate research assistant support and computer time on Blue
Sherwood holds a 2012-2016 DOE Computational Science
Graduate Fellowship and the Blue Waters Fellowship will support
his thesis research on neutrino transport in 3D core-collapse
supernovae and neutron star mergers in the 2016/17 academic
I co-organized the 4th Microphysics in Computational
Relativistic Astrophysics Workshop (MICRA 2015)
at Stockholm University, August 17-21, 2015.
Chris Pethick and I started the MICRA series of workshops in 2009 to
bring together people from the numerical relativity/computational
astro community and from the nuclear physics community. The goal of
this is to increase communication and collaboration between these
communities in order to bring more realistic microphysics (nuclear
physics, neutrino physics etc.) to simulations.
Caltech was well represented: Grad students Sherwood Richers and Jonas
Lippuner, postdoc David Radice, and I attended. It was also great to
catch up with former group members Roland Haas (AEI), Philipp Mösta (Berkeley), Sebastiano Bernuzzi (Parma), and Evan O'Connor (Hubble Fellow, NC State).
2015/07/12School is out! CGWAS 2015 is over!
60 students from 11 countries had a great time thanks to 16 lecturers and 17 dedicated local colleagues at Caltech who helped make CGWAS 2015 happen.
Lecture slides/notes, exercises, and solutions are available on the
2015/06/21Caltech Gravitational Wave Astrophysics School 2015
The Garmire (and the Neugebauer) Scholar are newly
established and endowed distinctions for outstanding graduate student
research in Physics at Caltech. They come with a discretionary research
fund of $2,500.
2015/04/10Hannah Klion wins Department of Energy
Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
Congrats to Hannah! Hannah is a senior in the physics program at
Caltech and has been working with us since her Freshman year. Her
research is on rotating core collapse and gravitational wave emission
from its postbounce ring-down phase. Hannah will take her CSGF to one
of the schools she is currently considering for graduate school and we
hope to continue to collaborate with her in the future!
My team at Caltech, which is part of the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS)
collaboration, is working on full 3D simulations of core-collapse
supernovae with the ultimate goal of connecting precollapse conditions
to the various possible outcomes of stellar collapse and their multi-messenger
(photons, neutrinos, gravitational waves) signatures.
SXS is developing the next-generation simulation code SpECTRE,
which is based on task-based parallelism and discontinuous Galerkin
finite element descritization. I am the PI of the NSF TCAN award
supporting this research and we will be releasing SpECTRE as open
I am a member of the Einstein Toolkit
that aims to provide well tested and documented open-source
simulation codes to the numerical relativity and astrophysics modeling
I very strongly believe in open source and strive to make my
simulation codes and input physics publically available. Most of my 3D
supernova simulation tools are already public and part of the
. My former graduate student Evan O'Connor's code GR1D (see the GR1D code paper) is also available as open
source from our stellarcollapse.org
website. There we also host finite-temperature nuclear equation of state tables
and table reader/interpolation code.
I am trying to understand how combined neutrino and gravitational
wave observations from the next galactic core-collapse supernova may
be used to constrain supernova physics and fundamental physics. I am collaborating with the statistician Bill Engels at Portland State on this research.
I am working with David Radice (Princeton), Sebastiano Bernuzzi
(Parma), and others on fully general-relativistic simulations of
neutron star mergers with an emphasis on postmerger evolution,
nucleosynthesis, and the role of the nuclear equation of state and
J. M. Fedrow, C. D. Ott, U. Sperhake, J. Blackman, R. Haas, A. De Felice, "Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Hole Mergers Inside of Stars," submitted (2017), (arXiv/ads).
M. Renzo, C. D. Ott, S. N. Shore, S. E. de Mink, "A Systematic Survey of the Effects of Wind Mass Loss Algorithms on the Evolution of Single Massive Stars," accepted for publication in A&A (2017), (arXiv/ads).
J. Lippuner, R. Fernandez, L. F. Roberts, F. Foucart, D. Kasen, B. Metzger, C. D. Ott, "Signatures of hypermassive neutron star lifetimes on r-process nucleosynthesis in the disk ejecta from neutron star mergers," submitted to MNRAS (2017), (arXiv/ads).
S. Richers, C. D. Ott, E. Abdikamalov, E. O'Connor, C. Sullivan, "Equation of State Effects on Gravitational Waves from Rotating Core Collapse," PRD 95, 063019 (2017), (ads).
L. E. Kidder, S. E. Field, F. Foucart, E. Schnetter, S. A. Teukolsky, A. Bohn, N. Deppe, P. Diener, F. Hebert, J. Lippuner, J. Miller, C. D. Ott, M. A. Scheel, T. Vincent, "
SpECTRE: A Task-based Discontinuous Galerkin Code for Relativistic Astrophysics," JCP 335, 84 (2017), (ads).
L. Roberts, J. Lippuner, M. Duez, J. Faber, F. Foucart,
J. Lombardi, S. Ning, C. D. Ott, M. Ponce, " The Influence of
Neutrinos on r-Process Nucleosynthesis in the Ejecta of Black
Hole-Neutron Star Mergers," MNRAS 464, 3907 (2017),
D. Radice, S. Bernuzzi, W. Del Pozzo, L. F. Roberts, C. D. Ott, "Probing Extreme-Density Matter with Gravitational Wave Observations of Binary Neutron Star Merger Remnants," submitted to PRL (2016), (arXiv/ads).
S. Bernuzzi, D. Radice, C. D. Ott, L. Roberts, P. Mösta,
F. Galeazzi, "How Loud Are Neutron Star Mergers,"
Phys. Rev. D 94, 024023 (2016),
R. Haas, C. D. Ott, B. Szilagyi, J. D. Kaplan, J. Lippuner, M. Scheel, K. Barkett, C. Muhlberger, T. Dietrich, M. Duez, F. Foucart, H. Pfeiffer, L. Kidder, S. Teukolsky, "Simulations of inspiraling and merging double neutron stars using the Spectral Einstein Code," Phys. Rev. D. 93, 124062 (2016), (ads).
C. D. Ott, "Massive Computation for Understanding Core-Collapse Supernova Explosions," Computing in Science & Engineering 18, 78 (2016), (ads).
L. Robers, C. D. Ott, R. Haas, E. P. O'Connor, P. Diener, E. Schnetter, "General Relativistic Three-Dimensional Multi-Group Neutrino Radiation-Hydrodynamics Simulations of Core-Collapse Supernovae," ApJ 831, 98 (2016), (ads).
D. Gerosa, U. Sperhake, and C. D. Ott, "Numerical Simulations of
Stellar Collapse in Scalar-Tensor Theories of Gravity,"
Class. Quantum Grav. 33, 135002 (2016),
V. Morozova, A. L. Piro, C. D. Ott, M. Renzo, "Numerical Modeling of the Early Light Curves of Type IIP Supernovae," ApJ 829, 109 (2016), (ads).
D. Radice, S. Bernuzzi, C. D. Ott, "The One-Armed Spiral Instability in Neutron Star Mergers and its Detectability in Gravitational Waves," PRD 94, 064011 (2016), (ads).
D. Radice, F. Galeazzi, J. Lippuner, L. Roberts, C. D. Ott,
L. Rezzolla, "Dynamical Mass Ejection from Binary Neutron Star
Mergers," MNRAS 460, 3255 (2016),
D. Radice, C. D. Ott, E. Abdikamalov, S. M. Couch, R. Haas, E. Schnetter, "Neutrino-Driven Convection in Core-Collapse Supernovae: High-Resolution Simulations," ApJ 820, 76 (2016), (ads).
S. Gossan, P. Sutton, A. Stuver, M. Zanolin, K. Gill, C. D. Ott,
"Observing Gravitational Waves from Core-Collapse Supernovae in
the Advanced Detector Era,", Phys. Rev. D 93, 042002 (2016),
K. Barkett, M. Scheel, R. Haas, C. D. Ott, S. Bernuzzi, D. Brown,
B. Szilagyi, J. Kaplan, J. Lippuner, C. Muhlberger, F. Foucart,
M. Duez, "Gravitational waveforms for neutron star binaries from
binary black hole simulations," Phys. Rev. D 93, 044064 (2016),
F. Foucart, R. Haas, M. Duez, E. O'Connor, C. D. Ott, L. Roberts,
L. Kidder, J. Lippuner, H. Pfeiffer, M. Scheel, "Low mass binary
neutron star mergers : gravitational waves and neutrino emission,"
Phys. Rev. D 93, 044019 (2016),
P. Mösta, C. D. Ott, D. Radice, L. Roberts, E. Schnetter,
R. Haas, "A large-scale Dynamo and Magnetoturbulence in rapidly
rotating Core-Collapse Supernovae," Nature 528, 376 (2015),
V. Morozova, A. L. Piro, M. Renzo, C. D. Ott, D. Clausen, S. M. Couch, J. Ellis, L. F. Roberts, "Light Curves of Core-Collapse Supernovae with Substantial Mass Loss using the New Open-Source SuperNova Explosion Code (SNEC)," ApJ 814, 63 (2015), (ads).
S. Richers, D. Kasen, E. O'Connor, R. Fernandez, C. D. Ott, "Monte Carlo Neutrino Transport Through Remnant Disks from Neutron Star Mergers," ApJ 813, 38 (2015), (ads).
E. Abdikamalov, C. D. Ott, D. Radice, L. F. Roberts, R. Haas, C. Reisswig, P. Moesta, H. Klion, and E. Schnetter, "Neutrino-driven Turbulent Convection and Standing Accretion Shock Instability in Three-Dimensional Core-Collapse Supernovae," ApJ 808, 70 (2015), (ads).
J. Fuller and C. D. Ott, "Dark Matter-induced Collapse of Neutron Stars: A Possible Link Between Fast Radio Bursts and the Missing Pulsar Problem," MNRAS 450, L71 (2015), (ads).
J. Fuller, H. Klion, E. Abdkikamalov and C. D. Ott, "Supernova seismology: gravitational wave signatures of rapidly rotating core collapse," MNRAS 450, 414 (2015), (ads).
D. Radice, S. M. Couch, and C. D. Ott, "Implicit large eddy simulations of anisotropic weakly compressible turbulence with application to core-collapse supernovae," Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology 2:7 (2015), (ads).
F. Foucart, E. O'Connor, L. Roberts, M. Duez, R. Haas, L. Kidder, C. D. Ott, H. Pfeiffer, M. Scheel, B. Szilagyi, "Post-merger evolution of a neutron star-black hole binary with neutrino transport,", PRD 91, 120421 (2015), (ads).
D. Clausen, A. L. Piro, and C. D. Ott, "The Black Hole Formation Probability," ApJ 799, 190 (2015), (ads).
S. M. Couch and C. D. Ott, "The Role of Turbulence in Neutrino-Driven Core-Collapse Supernova Explosions," ApJ 799, 12 (2015), (ads).
E. Abdikamalov, S. Gossan, A. DeMaio, C. D. Ott, "Measuring the Angular Momentum Distribution in Core-Collapse Supernova Progenitors with Gravitational Waves," PRD 90, 044001 (2014), (ads).
F. Foucart, B. Deaton, M. Duez, E. O'Connor, C. D. Ott, R. Haas, L. Kidder, H. Pfeiffer, M. Scheel, B. Szilagyi, "Neutron star-black hole mergers with a nuclear equation of state and neutrino cooling: Dependence in the binary parameters,", Phys. Rev. D. 90, 024026 (2014), (ads).
J. D. Kaplan, C. D. Ott, E. P. O'Connor, K. Kiuchi, L. Roberts, M. Duez, "The Influence of Thermal Pressure on Equilibrium Models of Hypermassive Neutron Star Merger Remnants," ApJ 790, 19 (2014), (ads).
W. Engels, R. Frey, and C. D. Ott, "Multivariate Regression Analysis of Gravitational Waves from Rotating Core Collapse," PRD 90, 124026 (2014), (ads).
C. Muhlberger, F. H. Nouri, M. Duez, F. Foucart, L. Kidder, C. D. Ott, M. Scheel, B. Szilagyi, and S. Teukolsky, "Magnetic effects on the low-T/|W| instability in differentially rotating neutron stars," PRD 90, 104014 (2014), (ads).
P. Mösta, S. Richers, C. D. Ott, R. Haas, A. L. Piro, K. Boydstun, E. Abdikamalov, C. Reisswig, E. Schnetter, "Magnetorotational Core-Collapse Supernovae in Three Dimensions," ApJ, 785, L29 (2014), (ads).
P. Mösta, B. Mundim, J. Faber, R. Haas, S. Noble, T. Bode, F. Löffler, C. D. Ott, C. Reisswig, E. Schnetter, "GRHydro: A new open source general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics code for the Einstein Toolkit," CQG 31, 015005 (2014), (ads).
S. M. Couch and C. D. Ott, "Revival of the Stalled Core-collapse Supernova Shock Triggered by Precollapse Asphericity in the Progenitor Star," ApJ 778, L7 (2013),(ads).
C. Reisswig, C. D. Ott, E. Abdikamalov, R. Haas, P. Moesta, E. Schnetter, "Formation and Coalescence of Cosmological Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in Supermassive Star Collapse," PRL 111, 151101 (2013), (ads).
M. B. Deaton, M. Duez, F. Foucart, E. O'Connor, C. D. Ott, L. Kidder, C. Muhlberger, M. Scheel, B. Szilagyi, "Black Hole-Neutron Star Mergers with a Hot Nuclear Equation of State: Outflow and Neutrino-Cooled Disk for a Low-Mass, High-Spin Case," ApJ 776, 47 (2013), (ads).
F. Foucart, M. B. Deaton, M. Duez, L. Kidder, I. MacDonald, C. D. Ott, H. Pfeiffer, M. Scheel, B. Szilagyi, S. Teukolsky, "Black-hole-neutron-star mergers at realistic mass ratios: Equation of state and spin orientation effects," Phys. Rev. D. 87, 084006 (2013), (ads).
C. Reisswig, R. Haas, C. D. Ott, E. Abdikamalov, P. Moesta, D. Pollney, and E. Schnetter,
"Three-Dimensional General-Relativistic Hydrodynamic Simulations of Binary Neutron Star Coalescence and Stellar Collapse with Multipatch Grids," Phys. Rev. D. 87, 064023 (2013), (ads)
C. D. Ott, E. Abdkimalov, P. Moesta, R. Haas, S. Drasco, E. O'Connor, C. Reisswig, C. Meakin, and E. Schnetter, "General-Relativistic Simulations of Three-Dimensional Core-Collapse Supernovae," ApJ 768, 115 (2013), (ads).
O. Korobkin, E. Abdikamalov, N. Stergioulas, E. Schnetter, B. Zink, S. Rosswog, and C. D. Ott, "The runaway instability in general-relativistic accretion disks," MNRAS, 431, 349 (2013), (ads).
D. Radice, E. Abdikamalov, L. Rezzolla, and C. D. Ott, "A New Spherical Harmonics Scheme for Multi-Dimensional Radiation Transport I: Static Matter Configurations," J. Comp. Phys. 242, 648 (2013), (ads).
E. O'Connor and C. D. Ott, "The Progenitor Dependence of the Preexplosion Neutrino Emission in Core-Collapse Supernovae," ApJ 762, 126 (2013), (ads).