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Event Number 2589

  Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Astronomy Colloquium
"A New Look at Stellar Evolution: Chi-by-Eye Evolves to Bayesian Statistics"
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall
Speaker: Ted von Hippel, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Abstract: In the 1960's stars were observed with single-channel photometers or worse, stellar evolution codes were run on a computer that barely bested a slide rule, and the results were compared by eye. While the observations and stellar models have improved tremendously in the interim, the methods by which we compare stellar models to data generally have not. I will describe a new Bayesian approach to this problem. Our Bayesian technique yields better precision in the ages, distances, etc. for stars and clusters, provides a fuller understanding of errors and correlations among the derived parameters, and allows us to attack a range of problems in stellar evolution in a consistent manner for the first time.
Host: Robert Mathieu, Chair of Astronomy
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