CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept.. 4, 2001
UI professor receives NSF grant for theoretical astronomy
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kenneth G. Gayley, assistant professor in the University
of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, department of physics and astronomy,
has been awarded a three-year, $192,000 National Science Foundation (NSF)
grant for theoretical astronomy.
His project -- titled "Are Optically Thick Winds Regulated by the Distribution
Over Line Wavelength Rather Than Line Strength?" -- is aimed at understanding
how the hottest stars rapidly lose mass. Unlike the sun, this class of stars
no longer contains hydrogen. Such stars are shrouded in an outward flow of
ionized gas, or stellar wind, believed to be driven by their intense luminosity.
Gayley says that the reason such dense winds exist is unknown, adding that
his project seeks to determine whether the answer involves the elimination
of wavelength gaps within which the wind would be transparent, allowing the
light to escape.
Gayley, who received his doctorate from the University of California, San
Diego in 1990 and joined the UI faculty in 1997, has research interests in
radiative transfer, radiation hydrodynamics and spectral line diagnostics.