Texas Tech University

Thomas Kupfer, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Email: tkupfer@ttu.edu

Room Number: Science building 18

Phone: 806-834-0986


- Here is my full CV

- Here is my publication list of my refereed publications

Thomas Kupfer

Short Bio

2020 – present Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Texas Tech University, USA
2018 – 2020 Postdoctoral Scholar at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, USA
2015 – 2018 Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, USA
2011 – 2015 Graduate student at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
2007 – 2011 Research assistant at the Dr. Remeis observatory Bamberg, Germany

Research Interests

My research interest revolves around late stellar binary evolution, strong gravitational wave sources, supernova Ia progenitors and time-domain surveys. My research goal is to observationally constrain the population of the most compact binaries using optical time-domain data and compare their properties and distributions to theoretical predictions. My techniques focus on the use of 'Big Data' and survey science to discover and characterize rare events and populations of different stellar types in large databases. I am member of the LISA consortium, the BlackGEM and ZTF science collaborations and I have been PI for more than 50 nights of observing time at world-class observatories used for my studies.

My enthusiasm in astronomy started already very early in my study. Already as a 2nd year undergraduate student I joined the group of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heber at the Remeis observatory in Bamberg. As ERASMUS student I spent 3 months at Armagh observatory, Northern Ireland to work on an abundance analysis of extreme helium stars which I continued as Master thesis. In May 2011 I started my doctorate at the Department of Astrophysics at the Radboud University Nijmegen on ultracompact AMCVn type binaries supervised by Prof. Dr. Paul Groot which I finished successfully in July 2015. Before joining Texas Tech University, I did Postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology (2015 - 2018) and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical at UC Santa Barbara (2018 - 2020). 

Selected publications

Kupfer, T., Bauer, E., Burdge, K., et al. 2020, ApJL, 898, 25: A New Class of Roche Lobe-filling Hot Subdwarf Binaries

Kupfer, T., Bauer, E., Burdge, K., et al. 2019, ApJL, 878,2: A New Class of Large-amplitude Radial-mode Hot Subdwarf Pulsators

Kupfer, T., Korol, V., Shah, S. et al. 2018, MNRAS, 480, 302: LISA verification binaries with updated distances from Gaia Data Release 2

Kupfer, T., Przybilla, N., Heber, U. et al. 2017, MNRAS, 471, 877: Quantitative spectroscopy of extreme helium stars - Model atmospheres and a non-LTE abundance analysis of BD+102179

Kupfer, T., Geier, S., Heber, U. et al. 2015, A&A, 576, 44: Hot subdwarf binaries from the MUCHFUSS project - Analysis of 12 new systems and a study of the short period binary population

Kupfer, T., Groot, P. J., Levitan, D. et al. 2013, MNRAS, 432, 2048: Orbital periods and accretion disc structure of four AM CVn systems

Burdge, K., Coughlin, M. W., Fuller, J., Kupfer, T. et al. 2019, Nature, 571, 528: General relativistic orbital decay in a seven-minute-orbital-period eclipsing binary system

Ramsay, G., Green, M. J., Marsh, T., Kupfer, T. et al. 2018, A&A, 620, 141: The physical properties of AM CVn stars: new insights from Gaia DR2

Geier, S., Fürst, F., Ziegerer, E., Kupfer, T. et al. 2014, Science, 347, 1126: The fastest unbound star in our Galaxy - Ejected by a thermonuclear supernova


Department of Physics and Astronomy