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Dr Silvia Zane
Appointment
  • Reader in Astrophysics
  • Dept of Space & Climate Physics
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Biography
Education
  • 1982- 1987 Liceo Scientifico G.B. Benedetti, Venice, Italy (“GCSE” and “A level” equivalent, mark: 58/60)
  • 19/11/92 Degree in Physics (mark: 110/110 cum laude, highest distinction. Univ. of Padova, Italy
  • 29/10/97 PhD in Astrophysics, International School for Advanced Studies SISSA/ISAS, Trieste, Italy

Professional History (in chronological order)

  • 11/96-05/97 Visiting Scholar at Loomis Laboratory for Physics, UIUC, US (Prof. Stu Shapiro)
  • 09/97-10/97 Visitng Scholar at Loomis Laboratory for Physics, UIUC, US (Prof. Stu Shapiro)
  • 29/10/93- 29/10/97 PhD Student International School for Advanced Studies SISSA/ISAS, Trieste, Italy
  • 11/97-05/00 Violette and Samuel Glasstone Fellows, Dept of Astrophysics, University of Oxford
  • 01/06/00- 30/09/2004 Postdoc Research Assistant at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL
  • 01/10/04- 31/09/2009 STFC Advanced Fellows at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL
  • 01/10/09- 01/10/2010 Lecturer at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL
  • 01/10/10- to date Reader at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL

Research Groups
Research Summary
The main focus of my research is the study of the behaviour of matter and radiation in presence of extreme conditions: strong gravity, strong magnetic fields and strong velocity fields. Most of my research is in the field of compact objects (black holes and neutron stars): they provide ideal and unique laboratories, not reproducible at Earth, where our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics can be put to an ultimate test. My work in galactic compact objects, deal with the observation and interpretation of their X-ray and multi-wavelength emission and of the radiative processes responsible for it. I have 19 years research experience in X-ray Astrophysics, a substantial expertise in the numerical solution of radiative transfer problems under fully relativistic conditions, and a substantial track record in isolated neutron stars, magnetars and pulsar physics. At MSSL, we combine theoretical modelling with data acquisition and analysis from the world's leading observatories at wavelengths from radio to X-rays, and I am part of solid international collaborations with the most active groups in the field at worldwide level. We developed sophisticated physical models of crustal, atmospheric and magnetospheric emission from compact objects, some of them have been for the first time systematically applied to a quantitative comparison with data. Beside neutron stars, my research spans a very wide range of fields, from both the theoretical and observational point of view. I work in the fields of general relativity, X-ray binaries, diffuse emission, extragalactic X-ray sources, and I am active in gamma ray bursts science. I have been involved in the preparatory and observational science programs of several past and near-future satellites (Swift, theproposed Edge, GRI, XIPE, Athena missions). Since 2010, I have a major role in the  Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT), one of the 5 M3 ESA candidates considered for launch in 2022-2025. I am part of the ESA Science Team of the mission, and I am the PI of the Large Area Detector, the major instrument foreseen on board (the project is UKSA funded for the assessment phase). 

Scientific Area of research

Neutron Stars, Pulsars, High Energy Astrophysics, Radiative Transfer, Accretion, Gamma Ray Bursts, Black Holes



Teaching Summary

Teaching:

  • 1997: Teaching Assistent for the course "The Physics of Compact Objects" at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain, UIUC, US (with Professor: Stuart L. Shapiro.

  • 2003: Foundations of Astronomy (1B11) at UCL (together with Dr L. Puchnarewicz)

  • 2009-2010: Stellar atmospheres and stellar winds (PHASM318) at UCL (30 lectures,  4 problem classes, course and exams oranization)

  • 2011-2012/2012-2013: 3th Year course “The Physics of Stars” (PHAS3135) shared with Prof. I. Howarth (reposnsible for 20 lectures, 2problems classes, course and exams co-organization).



Academic Background
2010 CLTHE_1 Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1 University College London
1997 POSTDOC Post Doctoral Qualification Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati di Trieste
1992 LAU Laurea Universita degli Studi di Padova
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