Dr. Cranmer's research interests include solar and stellar astrophysics. Specifically, he studies the heating and energization of particles in the solar corona, the acceleration of the solar wind, and waves and turbulence in all kinds of astrophysical plasmas. Understanding the hot, expanding outer atmosphere of the Sun is a necessary precursor to being able to predict the Sun's long-term effects on the Earth's climate and local space environment. Other research includes radiative transfer in stellar atmospheres, kinetic plasma physics, the dynamics of winds from rotating hot (O, B, Wolf-Rayet) stars, and nonradial stellar pulsations.
solar physics, stellar astrophysics, coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, stellar winds, plasma physics, kinetic theory, MHD turbulence, radiative transfer, spectroscopy
ASTR 1200 - Stars and Galaxies
Non-science majors are introduced to the nature and workings of the Sun, stars, neutron stars, black holes, interstellar gas, galaxies, quasars, plus structure and origins of the universe. Some lectures may be held at Fiske Planetarium. Offers opportunities to attend nighttime observation sessions at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Same as ASTR 1020 and ASTR 1040.
ASTR 2100 - Fundamental Concepts in Astrophysics
Covers topics in modern physics required for upper-level astrophysics and planetary science courses, including quantum mechanics, electromagnetic spectra, atomic and nuclear physics, and thermodynamics, in the context of astrophysics, planetary and space sciences. Also introduces key topics in mathematics to support these topics.
ASTR 5120 - Radiative and Dynamical Processes
Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
An introduction to radiative and dynamical processes aimed at graduate students in astrophysics, space physics and planetary science. Covers transport phenomena, the macroscopic treatment of radiation fields, magnetohydrodynamics and dynamical processes associated with planetary orbits and N-body systems.
ASTR 5700 - Stellar Astrophysics
Explores stellar interiors, evolution and atmospheres, with the Sun and its heliosphere being used as the closest and best-studied example of a star. Covers energy generation, transport, principles of stellar structure, stellar rotation, pulsation and evolution to supernova and compact object stages. Includes radiation transport in stellar photospheres, chromospheres, coronas, winds. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics. Recommended prerequisite: ASTR 5120.
FYSM 1000 - First Year Seminar
Provide first year students with an immersive experience in an interdisciplinary topic that addresses current issues including social, technical and global topics. Taught by faculty from across campus, the course provides students with an opportunity to interact in small classes, have project based learning experiences and gain valuable communication skills. Seminar style classes focused on discussion and projects.