National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Dr. Nordhaus is a Theoretical Astrophysicist who studies the physical processes that occur when stars die.
The death of a star is often a spectacular event - explosive, luminous and predated by dramatic changes in the internal structure. Near the end of a star’s life, its physical radius increases beyond where the Earth orbits. Nearby planets, stars, and compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes will plunge into their parent star, releasing enough energy to tear it apart. This elusive, yet critical, phase of stellar evolution is refereed to as a common envelope. Common envelopes are the main pathway for creating close-binaries in the Universe and the progenitors of the binary black hole and neutron star systems that produce gravitational waves. In his studies of evolved stars, Dr. Nordhaus employs a variety of techniques ranging from pen-and-paper theory to some of the largest numerical simulations in the field.
As faculty at NTID, Dr. Nordhaus is passionate about increasing the participation of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the physical sciences. Currently, it is more than two orders of magnitude lower than what general population statistics would predict. To provide pathways for future deaf scientists, Dr. Nordhaus routinely involves deaf/hoh students in research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf