Dr. Friedrich Förster Prize for Hao-Jui Kuan

Excellent doctoral thesis on tidal effects in coalescing binary stars

July 11, 2023

Hao-Jui Kuan, postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam, has been awarded the Dr. Friedrich Förster Prize for his outstanding dissertation. The prize honors young scientists in the fields of physics and physical chemistry who have completed their work in Tübingen within the last three years. The award is endowed with 1,000 euros.

In his PhD thesis, Hao-Jui Kuan investigated, among other things, tidal phenomena in coalescing binary stars with at least one neutron star involved. Shortly before the merger, the resonance of low-frequency modes in such systems may result in crustal fracture,  releasing the energy stored in the cracked area. If the neutron star has a strong magnetic field, this may possibly constitute a pre-emission of a short gamma-ray burst. In addition, the excitation of certain high-frequency modes can lead to sizeable imprints on gravitational waveforms if the neutron star spins at an appreciable rate.

Hao-Jui Kuan obtained his Bachelor degree in Physics and Mathematics in 2017. In 2022, he finished his PhD with a thesis entitled “Tidal Effects in Pre-merger Neutron Stars and Dynamics of  Scalarized Compact Objects” at Tübingen University. Since October 2022, he has been a member of the Computational Relativistic Astrophysics Department lead by Masaru Shibata at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam.

Friedrich Förster (1908 - 1999) was a physicist, inventor and entrepreneur. The prize of his foundation is aimed at young scientists who have completed particularly outstanding, creative and application-oriented work with an interdisciplinary approach. The prize has been awarded annually to young scientists since 1984.

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