Pappalardo Fellows

Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2011-2014

Laura Lopez, Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2011-14

Name: Laura Lopez

Title(s): Pappalardo Fellow in Physics: 2011-2014


Phone: (617) 253-3429


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Bldg. 37-664H
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Area of Physics:

Experimental Astrophysics

Research Interests

Laura Lopez is interested broadly in the birth and death of massive stars. Regarding stellar death, Lopez uses X-ray observations of supernova remnants to discern the physical properties of compact objects, supernova explosions, chemical mixing, and particle acceleration. Related to stellar birth, Lopez analyzes imaging and spectroscopy from across the electromagnetic spectrum (radio, mm, infrared, optical, UV, and X-ray) to assess how massive stars influence surrounding gas and dust via energetic feedback.

Biographical Sketch

Laura Lopez completed her Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in June 2011, working with Professors Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, Mark Krumholz, Jason Xavier Prochaska, and Alberto Bolatto. Before going to UCSC, Lopez earned her S.B. in physics at MIT in 2004. She completed her undergraduate thesis at MIT with Dr. Herman Marshall and Professor Claude Canizares. She is originally from Barrington, Illinois.

Selected Publications

  • "What Drives the Dynamics of Giant HII Regions?: A Study of Stellar Feedback in 30 Doradus", Lopez, L. A., Krumholz, M. K., Bolatto, A., Prochaska, J. X., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., accepted by the Astrophysical Journal, arXiv: 1008.2383 (2011)
  • "Using the X-ray Morphologies of Young Supernova Remnants to Constrain Explosion Types, Ejecta Distribution, and Chemical Mixing", Lopez, L. A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Huppenkothen, D., Badenes, C., Pooley, D. A., submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, arXiv: 1011.0731 (2011)
  • "Typing Supernova Remnants Using X-ray Line Emission Morphologies", Lopez, L. A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Badenes, C., Huppenkothen, D., Jeltema, T. E., Pooley, D. A., Astrophysical Journal Letters, 706, L106, arXiv: 0910.3208 (2009)
  • "Tools to Dissect Supernova Remnants Observed with Chandra: Methods and Application to the Galactic Remnant W49B", Lopez, L. A., Ramirez-Ruiz, E., Pooley, D. A., Jeltema, T. E., Astrophysical Journal, 691, 875, arXiV: 0810.0009 (2009)
  • "A Chandra Snapshot Survey of Representative High-Redshift Radio-Loud Quasars from the PMN Sample", Lopez, L. A., Brandt, W. N., Vignali, C., Schneider, D. P., Chartas, G., Garmire, G., Astronomical Journal, 131, 1914, arXiv: astro-ph/0601037 (2006)
  • "Determining the Nature of the SS 433 Binary from an X-ray Spectrum During Eclipse", Lopez, L. A., Marshall, H. L., Canizares, C. R., Schulz, N. S., Kane, J. F., Astrophysical Journal, 650, 338, arXiv: astro-ph/0605574 (2006)