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Caiazzo Group

Stars and compact objects

Stars and the remnants that represent the last stage in their life — white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes — encompass a variety of extremes that cannot ever be achieved on Earth: of gravitation, energy, density, temperature, and magnetic field. With my group, I strive to further our understanding of the laws of physics by probing these beautiful and complex laboratories that populate the skies above us.

This is an exciting time for stellar astrophysics as high-cadence time domain surveys (Gaia, PTF, ZTF, ATLAS, Kepler, TESS, and, in the near future, the Vera Rubin Observatory) are revolutionizing the landscape of stellar studies by allowing the exploration of the dynamic sky. Furthermore, spectroscopic surveys are ongoing (SDSS V, DESI, WEAVE etc.), which will provide spectral classifications for millions of stars. Space missions are also opening new windows on stars and their remnants: December of 2021 alone saw the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, with its unprecedented sensitivity in the infrared, and of the Imaging X-ray Polarization Explorer, the first mission dedicated to X-ray polarimetry. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna will expand our reach in the field of gravitational waves.

With my research group, we take advantage of these incredibly rich datasets to explore stellar evolution in star clusters, study compact binaries and their remnants, and investigate neutron stars and black holes in the X-rays. With a mixture of observations, analysis of large datasets and theoretical work, we plan to tackle open questions about stars and their remnants that have a large impact on several fields of astrophysics.


Current Projects

  • What is the role of magnetic fields in stellar evolution? How do magnetic fields affect the structure and evolution of white dwarfs and neutron stars?
  • How can we constrain the physics of the last stages of a star’s life by studying stellar remnants? What is the fate of a planetary system after its star dies?
  • What are the major evolutionary paths of stars in binaries? What is the population white-dwarf binaries that we will detect in LISA? What are the progenitors of type Ia supernovae?


ReX-Link: Ilaria Caiazzo


Since 2024 Assistant Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA)
2019 – 2024 Burke – Sherman Fairchild Postdoctoral Fellow in theoretical astrophysics, Caltech, USA
2015 –2019 PhD, University of British Columbia, Canada

Selected Distinctions

2023 knighted by the Italian President as Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (OMRI OMCA)
2019 – 2024 Burke Postdoctoral Fellowship at Caltech, Pasadena, US
2017 –  2019 Four Year Fellowship for PhD Students, UBC, Vancouver, Canada
2017 Dante Ciccone Memorial Scholarship in Astronomy, UBC, Vancouver,  Canada
2017 – 2019 EMBO Long-term fellowship
2007 Valorizzazione delle eccellenze award, Ministry of Public Education, Italy

Additional Information

Download CV
Visit Ilaria Caiazzo’s website

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