Texas Tech University

Alessandra Corsi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Email: Alessandra.Corsi@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-6931

Office: 17 Science Building

  • Ph.D. Astronomy, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy (2007)
  • Laurea in Physics cum laude, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Italy (2003)
  • Here is my complete CV
  • Here is my list of publications as returned by NASA/ADS. Please note that this selects also some papers from another A. Corsi (that however are not about astronomy so they are easy to identify!).
  • Selected Publications: see below.
Alessandra Corsi

Research Interests

My research focuses on time-domain astronomy (with special emphasis on relativistic transients) and gravitational wave physics. The largest chunk of my research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation via a CAREER award. I am also PI of several guest investigator programs (mostly on Swift and Chandra) funded by NASA.

SUPERNOVAE AND GAMMA-RAY BURSTS

Since the discovery of an association between long-duration gamma-ray bursts GRBs and core-collapse supernovae (SNe), it has become evident that long GRBs are related to a rare sub-class of SNe, which develop highly energetic and collimated relativistic outflows, likely powered by a central engine (an accreting black hole or neutron star). However, it is still a mystery what makes some core-collapse SNe explode producing an associated relativistic ejecta (GRBs). The physics behind the GRB-SN connection is tightly linked to a question of broad interest in the field of astrophysics, namely, how do massive stars end their lives. Massive stars, as primary sources of radiative ionization, heating, and nucleosynthesis products, play a crucial role in the evolution of galaxies and the whole Universe. Their connection to the most relativistic explosions of stellar origin (GRBs) is puzzling astronomers all over the world. Motivated by the key fact that relativistic ejecta in SN explosions can be probed using radio observations, I am working to unravel the missing link between GRBs and SNe using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA).

GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

Gravitational waves (GWs) offer a remarkable opportunity to open a totally new view of the universe, providing us the chance to answer fundamental questions on some of the most fascinating objects in the stellar graveyard. The Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has brought us the first direct detection of GWs from two colliding black holes, officially marking the start of a new era in astronomy! Motivated by these exciting results, and as a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, I am working on the study of GRBs as gravitational wave sources, and more generally on joint electromagnetic and gravitational wave studies of transient astrophysical phenomena. My group at TTU is developing and testing new LIGO data analysis techniques aimed at identifying comic explosions and collisions leading to births of neutron stars. At the same time, in collaboration with the iPTF/ZTF team, we have secured time on the Karl G. Jansky VLA and on the Swift X-ray telescope, to carry out searches for radio-to-X-ray counterparts to LIGO events.

Selected Publications

Selected small collaboration papers

Selected LIGO collaboration papers

Research Group and Collaborators

Here at TTU I am part of the Astrophysics group.

Below a list of my (past and current) students and post-docs, together with a (likely incomplete!) list of long-term collaborators.

High School Students

  • Frank Padgett (GWU, 2014).
  • Nishit Mishra (TTU Clark Scholar; Summer 2016 - 2017)

Undergraduate Students

  • Sibilla di Pace (Sapienza; 2009)
  • Maria Concetta Tringali (CalTech/Sapienza; Summer 2011)
  • Igor Andreoni (University of Milan/GWU; Summer 2013)
  • Derek Brehm (GWU; 2013-2014)
  • Ajayi Scott-Robinson (GWU, 2013-2014).
  • Matteo Di Giovanni (Sapienza/TTU; Summer 2015)
  • Carrah Osborne (TTU, 2015)
  • Brody Moore (TTU, 2015)
  • Chance Norris (TTU; 2015-2016)
  • Deven Bhakta (TTU; 2014-2017)
  • Kyle Artkop (TTU; 2017-present)
  • Rachel Smith (TTU; Fall 2017)

Graduate Students

  • Robert Coyne (TTU/GWU; 2012-2015)
  • Eric Sowell (TTU; 2016-present)
  • Deven Bhakta (TTU; 2017-present)

Post-doctoral scholars

Long term (senior) collaborators (partial list)

Teaching

Below the list of courses I teach. I am usually very hard to reach 2 hours before class starts, since I am getting ready for it. Class material and information for all the courses I teach is available to TTU students on Blackboard.

Fall 2017:

  • PHYS-6306 (Advanced Electromagnetic Theory) - MWF 12:00-12:50 pm

Spring 2017:

  • ASTR1400-002 (Solar System Astronomy)- MWF 2:00-2:50 pm
  • PHYS5101-001 (Seminar) - R 3:30-4:20pm

Fall 2016:

  • ASTR1400-001 (Solar System Astronomy)- MWF 10:00-10:50 am
  • PHYS5101-001 (Seminar) - R 3:30-4:20pm

Spring 2016:

  • ASTR1400-002 (Solar System Astronomy)- MWF 2:00-2:50 pm
  • PHYS5101-001 (Seminar) - R 3:30-4:20pm

Fall 2015:

  • ASTR1400-001 (Solar System Astronomy)- MWF 10:00-10:50 am
  • PHYS5101-001 (Seminar) - R 3:30-4:20pm

Spring 2015:

  • PHYS5300-001 (Special Topics: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics)- TR 11:00-12:20 am
  • PHYS5101-001 (Seminar) - R 3:30-4:20pm

Department of Physics and Astronomy