Ronald Taam

Professor
PhD, Columbia University, 1973

Fellow, American Physical Society

Theoretical Astrophysics Page

Ronald Taam's primary research interests are in the hydrodynamics of gas flows, close binary systems, accretion disks, and the nature of x-ray bursts.  He studies the ignition and propagation of nuclear burning fronts in stars, the structure and evolution of accretion disks surrounding compact stars (black holes and neutron stars), and the evolution of close double-star systems.  Taam's recent research accomplishments have included a comprehensive study of thermonuclear burning on the surfaces of neutron stars experiencing high rates of mass accretion and an elucidation of the transition from strong x-ray bursting activity to weak bursting activity.  Studying the details of this transition will provide a new probe to determine the mass accretion rates of cosmic x-ray burst sources.  Taam has also developed new accretion-disk instability models for the quasi-periodic variability of the x-ray emission from binary systems containing a black hole.  The models are relevant to observations obtained from the recently launched Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer.

Taam has also recently completed a systematic study of the three-dimensional hydrodynamic interaction of two stars in a close binary system.  In this study the two stars spiral together and merge to form a single rapidly rotating star, or eject their common envelope to form a short-period remnant binary system.  Applying these results to observed systems has provided important insight on the formation of many classes of binary systems containing compact objects.

Selected Publications

  • D. J. Lin, A. Bayliss, and R. E. Taam
    Low Mach Number Modeling Of Type I X-Ray Burst Deflagrations
    Astrophysical Journal 653, 545 (2006)
  • N. Ivanova, C. O. Heinke, R. A. Rasio, et al.
    Formation And Evolution Of Compact Binaries In Globular Clusters.  I.  Binaries With White Dwarfs
    Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society 372, 1043 (2006)
  • D. J. Deloye and R. E. Taam
    The Turn-On Of Mass Transfer In AM CVn Binaries:  Implications For RX J0806+1527 And RX J1914+2456
    Astrophysical Journal 649, L99 (2006)
  • W. Becker, M. Kramer, A. Jessner, et al.
    A Multiwavelength Study of the Pulsar PSR B1929+10 and Its X-Ray Trail
    Astrophysical Journal 645, 1421 (2006)
  • K. S. Cheng, R. E. Taam, and W. Wang
    Pulsar Wind Nebulae and the X-Ray Emission of Nonaccreting Neutron Stars
    Astrophysical Journal 617, 480 (2004)
  • K. Belczynski and R. E. Taam
    On the Chandra X-Ray Sources in the Galactic Center
    Astrophysical Journal 616, 1159 (2004)

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August 26, 2013