Research


My research interests cover a wide range of problems related to the origin and evolution of compact objects in stellar systems found both in the Milky Way and other galaxies. I am most interested in the formation of compact objects in binary systems, where mostly unobservable neutron stars and black holes can be revived as unique sources of electromagnetic and gravitational radiation. While working towards the exciting goal of opening a new window onto the Universe, through the advent of gravitational-wave astronomy, I also continue to pursue projects in X-ray astrophysics, and am developing new projects in the area of time-domain, transient astronomy. Astrophysics work within my research group has a strong computational component and interdisciplinary connections to computer science, applied math, data analytics, and statistics.

Current research includes:

  • Detecting Gravitational Waves: Dr. Kalogera is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which is pursuing the first direct detection of gravitational waves as predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. This research will represent one of the top breakthroughs in physics for the 21st century and will open a new window of exploration in science and technology.
  • X-ray Binaries: Black holes and neutron stars are known to exist in nature based on indirect evidence produced by X-ray sources. Dr. Kalogera is pursuing a long-term program that focuses on each x-ray binary that harbors a black hole to develop highly sophisticated models for their evolutionary history and future.
  • Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST): The top national priority for astronomy studies with ground-based telescopes is the development of the unique LSST. Northwestern is an institutional member of the non-profit LSST Corporation and Dr. Kalogera serves on its board. When completed LSST will produce the most comprehensive movie of the Universe, breaking big-data records and affecting all areas of astronomy, especially time-domain astronomy.
  • Predicting Supernova Progenitors: Dr. Kalogera is working to predict the properties of supernova progenitors, exploding stars forming black holes and neutron stars once they self-destroy.
    Current observational results indicate that the role of binary evolution is crucial in shaping supernova progenitors, but no models have been developed, even though observational astronomers point to their necessity. Given her group’s experience, Dr. Kalogera hopes to develop these models and produce key predictions for LSST.

We are happy to acknowledge the valuable support from:

  • Simons Foundation (Fellowship in Theoretical Physics 2013 – 2014)
  • The David & Lucile Packard Foundation (Fellowship in Science and Engineering 2002 – 2009)
  • The Research Corporation (Cottrell Scholar Award 2004-2006)
  • NSF Gravitational Physics Program (2001 – present)
  • NSF DGE GK-12 Program (2010 – present)
  • NSF AST and CDS&E Programs (2013 – present)
  • NSF AST REU Program (2014 – present)
  • NSF DGE NRT Program (2015 – present)
  • NSF MRI Program (2006 – 2008; 2011 – 2012)
  • NSF AST Stellar Astronomy Program (2009 – 2012)
  • NSF CAREER Program (2005 – 2010)
  • NASA Astrophysics Theory Program (2002 – 2005; 2007 – 2010; 2014 – present)
  • NASA Astrophysics Data Program (2011 – 2014)
  • NASA Illinois Space Grant Consortium (2011 – 2013)
  • NASA Astrophysics Theory and Fundamental Physics (2009 – 2012)
  • NASA Chandra Observational Program (2004 – 2011)
  • NASA Beyond Einstein Foundation Science (2006 – 2009)
  • NASA Long-Term-Space-Astrophysics (2003 – 2008)
  • NASA Graduate Student Research Program (2004 – 2007)
  • NASA XMM-Newton Observational Program (2005 – 2006)
  • NASA Chandra Theory Program (2002 – 2003 and 2004 – 2005)
  • Northwestern University