Stars are the most widely recognized astronomical objects, and represent the most fundamental building blocks of galaxies. We know today that the majority of stars are members of binary or even higher order multiplicity systems. Binaries are excellent astrophysical laboratories, and compared to single isolated stars, they induce new processes, offering the opportunity to confront our understanding of a broad range of physics. The interactions between the stellar component of a binary can alter significantly the evolution of the system, and potentially lead to the formation of exotic objects and phenomena, from double compact objects in close orbits, to peculiar supernova events and gamma-ray bursts.
Phenomena related to binary evolution span scales from kilometers (e.g. the internal stellar structure), to gigaparsecs (e.g. stellar feedback processes in galaxy evolution). In my research so far, I dealt with problems related to all different scales, using in each case the adequate tools and level of detail. I studied the evolutionary history of Galactic X-ray binaries using detailed evolutionary models of both the internal structure of the stellar components, and the binary orbit. These studies allowed us to track the evolution of the X-ray binary back to the formation of the compact object, and study the properties of the binary during the supernova event. At the galactic scale, I worked on population synthesis studies of X-ray binaries at different galactic environments. The use of more approximate simulation tools, allowed me to perform a statistical comparison of my simulations’ results with observed extragalactic populations. Finally, at the largest scales, I combined binary population synthesis models with cosmological simulations, in order to study the evolution of X-ray binaries on cosmological timescales, and the effect that these populations have in galaxy formation and evolution, especially at high redshifts.
Bellow you can find more information about my current and former students and the different research projects I am working on.