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Virtual white dwarf stars

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Virtual white dwarf stars

Dr Elke Pahl

Dr Elke Pahl

At times modelling is the only way to answer a materials question – where an experiment is either impossible or too dangerous to carry out. Ever-improving computational techniques and hardware means MacDiarmid Institute researchers can virtually reproduce conditions unachievable in a lab, such as the forces inside a white dwarf star.

This is an area in which Associate Investigator Dr Elke Pahl, Massey University, is particularly interested. Dr Pahl’s work on cohesive energy calculations is changing the way we model solids. She has also published a paper that quantified the melting temperature of the radioactive element Radon.

Our work validated the only experimental result that exists, and that was from the beginning of last century. Radon’s radioactive properties means that nobody wants to measure it in a lab anymore.

Dr Elke Pahl MacDiarmid Institute Associate Investigator Massey University

More information

More information on how other MacDiarmid Institute researchers are using computer modelling to further their work: Annual Report 2018 - page 30