Toomre's research centers on astrophysical fluid dynamics (AFD), with particular emphasis on nonlinear theories for compressible convection and dynamos in stars including the Sun, and in studying nonlinear dynamical systems exhibiting multiple bifurcations and chaos. Extensive use is made in the 3-D turbulence simulations of massively parallel supercomputers and substantial visualization systems. Toomre is active in helioseismology, using observations of the frequency-splitting of five-minute oscillationsof the sun to search for subphotospheric flows, large-scale structures and differential rotation in the convection zone; inverse theory has been developed to interpret the data.
astrophysical fluid dynamics, turbulent convection and dynamo processes in stars, helioseismology, solar and stellar dynamo theory
ASTR 1040 - Accelerated Introductory Astronomy 2
Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2020
Covers principles of modern astronomy summarizing our present knowledge about the Sun, stars, birth and death of stars, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, quasars, and the organization and origins of the universe. May require nighttime observing sessions at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Required in ASTR major/minor. Includes a recitation. Taught at a higher intellectual level including a significant amount of quantitative analysis. Same as ASTR 1020 and ASTR 1200.
ASTR 5410 - Fluid Instabilities, Waves, and Turbulence
Involves linear and nonlinear analyses of small-scale waves and instabilities in stratified fluids, with effects of rotation. Studies internal gravity and acoustic waves with terrestrial, planetary and astrophysical applications. Studies thermal and double-diffusive convection, homogeneous and stratified shear flow instabilities. Examines these topics from the onset of small amplitude disturbances to their nonlinear development and equilibration. Department enforced prerequisite: ASTR 5400 or ATOC 5060.
ASTR 5540 - Mathematical Methods
Fall 2019 / Fall 2021
Presents an applied mathematics course designed to provide the necessary analytical and numerical background for courses in astrophysics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and radiation transfer. Topics include integration techniques, linear and nonlinear differential equations, WKB and Fourier transform methods, adiabatic invariants, partial differential equations, integral equations, and integrodifferential equations. Draws illustrative examples from the areas of physics listed above. Same as ATOC 5540.