Søren S. Larsen
Mailing address: Department of Astrophysics, IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Visiting address: Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Office: Huygensgebouw 02.720
Phone: +31 (0)24 365 2806 (direct)
email: s dot larsen at astro dot ru dot nl
My research concentrates on star clusters as tracers of the stellar populations within their parent galaxies. In most galaxies beyond the Local Group, individual stars are too faint to be resolved and studied in detail. Star clusters, on the other hand, can be detected out to large distances, and their ages and metallicities can be measured. We currently know very little about the detailed chemical evolution of stellar populations outside the Local Group, a situation I am working hard to improve by means of high quality spectroscopy of massive clusters in a variety of external galaxies.
I am also interested in the problem of multiple stellar populations in globular clusters. From spectroscopic and photometric observations, it is known that a large fraction of the stars within globular clusters have abundances of the light elements in combinations that are seen nowhere else. Why that is so remains a mystery, and while several scenarios have been proposed, none provides a satisfactory explanation. My work is mainly concerned with providing constraints on the various theories, in particular using observations of globular clusters in dwarf galaxies.
"..the occasions by which people come to understand celestial things seem to me not much less marvellous than than the nature of celestial things itself" - Kepler, Astronomia Nova.