Two Physics Graduate Students Present at 2013 Meeting of the American Astronomical Society









Posted May 6, 2013

Merida Batiste, PhD student in Physics, and David Pearson, Master of Science student in Physics, presented at the 221st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. The meeting is the largest annual meeting for astronomers and astrophysicists in North America and attracts scientists from all over the  globe. Presentations at the Meeting can take one of three forms: posters, regular oral presentations which are five minutes, and dissertation talks which in  15 minutes aim to explain a major conclusion from thesis work. Batiste presented her research on gravitationally bound superclusters of galaxies, the largest structures in the universe held together by gravity. She said of her present ation, “While about 10 million superclusters of galaxies have been identified in the Universe, bound superclusters are incredibly rare; prior to our work only one had been identified. I presented on my results for the Corona Borealis supercluster, which provide the most conclusive observational evidence to date that this structure is bound and in collapse.”

Pearson presented his research on superclusters of galaxies as well, in which he looks for the signature of dark energy in the large scale structure of the universe. He said of his presentation, “My talk discussed computer simulations of these structures, the results of which highlighted that if we only consider the mass contained inside individual clusters of galaxies then there is a good chance that these structures will not be gravitationally bound, though a few may be. We also compared our simulation results with the predictions of two analytical models, finding that they could be used to establish
widely separated upper and lower bounds to the true limits. These results are the basis for a paper which I recently submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.”