D. Batcheldor

Terry D. Oswalt

Professor of Physics and Space Sciences
Ph.D. The Ohio State University, 1981

Research Areas: Primary interests include ground - and space-based studies of late stages of stellar evolution, binary and multiple systems of stars, and especially collapsed stars called white dwarfs.

For the last several years our research has focused on a spectroscopic and photometric survey of over 500 common proper motion binaries which contain known or suspected white dwarfs. These pairs of stars, whose separations are so large that orbital motion is undetectable, provide a unique opportunity to explore: (1) the low luminosity ends of both the white dwarf cooling track and main sequence; (2) competing models of white dwarf spectral evolution; (3) the space motions, masses and luminosities for the largest single sample of white dwarfs known; and (4) to set a lower limit to the age of the Galactic disk based on cooling times for the oldest white dwarf remnants. This work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Our observational data is obtained at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, and Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, where telescopes as large as 4-meters (156-inches) are available on a competitive basis to scientists. Program objects have also been observed with the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Inside Florida Tech Interview broadcast 10/8/2002

I am also the Chairman of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) which is dedicated to fostering astronomical research and education in astronomy.


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The Florida Institute of Technology Department of Physics and Space Sciences