Département de physique, de génie physique et d'optique
Canada G1V 0A6
Phone: 418-656-2131 ext 3612
Research field: Stellar populations; starbursts galaxies; spectral synthesis; massive stars; stellar winds; evolution of galaxies; UV spectroscopy.
Description of the research project:
Carmelle Robert's main research program is to better describe the processes involved in stellar formation and their impact on the evolution of galaxies. Starbursts are key phenomena in this research. These show sudden and violent bursts of star formation that last only a few million years. They are found everywhere in the Universe and represent an important phase in the evolution of galaxies. The characteristics of the stellar populations of starbursts are described using a spectral synthesis code optimized for the ultraviolet (UV) range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Massive stars, present in large numbers in starbursts, have intense stellar winds responsible for wide and strong spectral lines in the UV. The detailed study of these lines makes it possible to estimate when the starburst started as well as the chemical abundance of the stars and to describe the mode of stellar formation. Analysis of old generations of stars that preceded the starburst phase is also an integral part of the research project. Using high resolution spatial data in the optical, it is possible to describe these old populations, locate them in relation to starbursts and finally reconstruct the evolutionary history of a galaxy. For a sample of galaxies with different physical properties (bar, interaction, active nucleus ...), new constraints are obtained on the processes that influence stellar formation and the evolution of galaxies.