David Rothstein

Black Hole Weather: Observing it, Predicting it, and Sharing it
Contact information:
Cornell University
320 Space Sciences Building
Ithaca, NY 14853
Fellowship status:
Starting year: 2006
AAPF alumnus
Fellowship institution: Cornell University
Current (or last known) position: Open-Source Web Developer and Drupal 7 Core Co-Maintainer
Research Interests:

My research tries to answer the following question: How well can we predict the weather around a black hole? The accretion disks and jets that surround stellar-mass black holes in our Galaxy interact with each other in a highly complex and time-dependent way, and I study this behavior using multiwavelength (primarily X-ray and infrared) observations. My goal is to synthesize observational data on GRS 1915+105 and other black hole candidates, search it for patterns that can be used to predict the weather, and compare it directly to "weather forecasts" made from one and two-dimensional computer simulations. This comparison will yield results about the properties of magnetic turbulence in accretion disks and the physical trigger that leads to jet formation and evolution in these systems.

Education and Outreach Interests:

I am working to develop a website (edplum.org) for teachers to share lesson plans, teaching tips and other classroom material with each other and build up curricula in a collaborative fashion. The goal of the website is to make teachers' lives easier by allowing them to see what other teachers are doing, as well as to improve the quality of instruction in classrooms around the world in a "teacher-centric" way. I am also working with teachers and students in upstate New York on classroom projects in physics and astronomy that can be put on this website.