Ben Tofflemire

Graduate Student

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Office: 6511C Sterling Hall

Research Interests:

I study the formation and early evolution of binary stars. Specifically, I carry out long-term observational monitoring campaigns to characterize how young binary star systems interact with the surrounding protoplanetary disk material left over from star formation. I am generally interested in the formation and evolution of binary stars, the structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks, accretion diagnostics, signatures of magnetic reconnection, and time-domain astrophysics.



I am currently in my 6th year of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During my time here I have done research on recurrent novae, open star clusters, and I am now forging a thesis on characterizing the interaction between young binary stars and their protoplanetary disks. Binary stars, two gravitationally bound stars orbiting a common center-of-mass, are a common outcome of star formation, yet their formation remains poorly understood.

For my thesis, I focus on the “pre-main sequence” phase of star formation where the evolution of stars and the formation of planets is governed by the interplay between the star and it's protoplanetary disk. The star-disk more

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