Antoine Bédard, who recently completed his doctoral thesis under the supervision of Université de Montréal physicists Pierre Brassard and Professor Pierre Bergeron (and initially our late colleague Professor Gilles Fontaine), has won an award for excellence in astrophysics from the Stars and Stellar Physics Division of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for the year 2022.
Antoine’s PhD thesis, entitled ” Characterization and modelling of the spectral evolution of hot white dwarf stars”, focuses on the study of white dwarf stars, the stellar corpses that represent the final stage in the evolution of over 97% of the stars in our galaxy. Having exhausted the nuclear fuel at their core, these stars gradually cool down over time scales of several billion years. Antoine’s research interests include the study of the various physical mechanisms (convective mixing, convective dredging of the core, accretion of interstellar medium or circumstellar matter, radiative acceleration, stellar winds) that can compete with gravitational sorting to modify the chemical composition of the outer layers of white dwarfs as they evolve along the cooling sequence. Understanding what is described as “the spectral evolution of white dwarf stars” is the main subject of Antoine’s thesis.
Since October 2022, Antoine Bédard has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Warwick (UK), supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), where he is pursuing his research into the development of detailed models of the structure and evolution of white dwarf stars, based on state-of-the-art physical theories and numerical techniques. He is particularly interested in the phenomenon of core crystallization (a phase transition in which the stellar core solidifies into a crystal) and its influence on the cooling process. He is also continuing his work on the complex effects of the transport of chemical elements in the stellar envelope on the evolution of white dwarfs.
The Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ) warmly congratulates Antoine Bédard on this prestigious award.
About the IAU Awards of Excellence
The IAU Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding scientific achievement in astrophysics around the world. Once a year, each IAU division can award its own prize to the candidate who, in its opinion, has carried out the most outstanding work of the previous year.
The nature of the award received by the winner is determined at the discretion of each UAI division. As an example, a standard award includes airfare and accommodation to attend the next UAI General Assembly, where certificates will be presented. Other prizes could include the opportunity to present their thesis work at Division Days, an invitation to attend presentations at the IAU Executive Committee meeting and dinner at the General Assembly, and the chance to give a presentation at a plenary or special session.
To know more: 2022 IAU PhD Prize Winners Announced | IAU
Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec