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Ralph Baldwin Prize in Astrophysics and Space Science

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
4:00 AM
University of Michigan Alumni Center 200 Fletcher Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

"Lonely Massive Stars"

Most stars form in groups or clusters.  In fact, some astronomers predict that stars more than 20 times the mass of our sun may only form in clusters, alongside hundreds or thousands of other stars.  Yet surveys of massive stars find that a quarter of them exist in isolation.  Could these stars be forming all alone? Or are they being separated from their birth clusters?  To answer these questions, we took a complete census of isolated massive stars in one of our closest neighboring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud.  The demographics of this "field star" population reveal key clues about their origin.

- Dr. Joel Lamb

Map location of U-M Alumni Center

The Ralph B. Baldwin Prize in Astrophysics and Space Sciences is an award sponsored by a generous gift to the University by Dr. Ralph B. Baldwin. Applicants must show original and significant contributions to their field as measured in their scholarly publications.

Student applications are selected from the fields of Astronomy, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science; Chemistry; Physics; Geology; and Mathematics as they pertain to space, its bodies, and relevant physical processes. The prize is awarded annually to a student who has received a University of Michigan Ph.D. during the previous year. A faculty committee comprised of representatives from the appropriate departments judges the packages submitted on the basis of the excellence of their research activities revealed in the student's thesis and publications during their career.

The 2014 Ralph Baldwin Prize is awarded to Dr. Joel Lamb, who received his PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics from U-M in 2012.

Dr. Joel Lamb