Physics & Astronomy Faculty & Staff
My area of research is observational radio astronomy:
– observation of regions of massive star formation in our galaxy using: Green Bank Telescope (GBT), Very Large Array (VLA), and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
– study of different types of astrophysical masers, analysis of their correlation and variability.
– study of quasars’ emission as a tool to probe the filamentary structure of diffuse molecular clouds in our galaxy.
Ph.D., 1989, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics, 1989-1991, University of Idaho, Moscow.
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, 1991-present, Butler University, Indianapolis.
Recent teaching duties:
NW 262-PH Physical World, usually taught every semester and summer I.
PH 351 Analog electronics, usually taught in the fall semester.
PH 303 Electromagnetic Waves and Optics, usually taught in the spring semester.
Eclipsing binary star systems: their sizes, temperatures, periods, mass transfer, magnetic activities.
Asteroids: their rotations and shapes through photometry.
B. S. in Physics, Indiana University-Bloomington, 1992
Ph. D in Physics, University of Notre Dame, 1998
Dr. Dan W. Kosik received his B.S. in astrophysics from Michigan State University in 1973 and his PhD. in physics from Ohio University in 1980. He worked for Amoco Production Co. as a geophysicist in the Michigan Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. While there he developed a new approach to handling near surface statics in seismic data processing and recommended locations for successful wildcat gas well discoveries. He later joined Mission Research Corp. as a computational physicist engaged in SDI projects. During his tenure there he worked on development of computer programs for adaptive optics phase reconstruction and for high energy deposition in materials from nuclear weapon devices. He is presently an associate professor of physics at Butler University. His current research interests are in nuclear pair production and bremsstrahlung processes, high energy particle physics, and elastic and non-elastic wave propagation through in-homogeneous materials. He is a member of the American Physical Society, Society for Exploration Geophysicists, and American Geophysical Union.
My research focuses on the dynamical evolution of dense stellar systems such as globular cluster and galactic nuclei. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, houses about 150 globular clusters, which reside in the halo and are concentrated toward the Galaxy’s center. These stellar systems are roughly spherical, average one hundred light years in diameter, and contain from ten thousand to ten million stars. Roughly 20% of star clusters have undergone core collapse. During core collapse stars are packed more than a billion times closer together than those in the vicinity of the Sun. My research focuses on this phenomenon of core collapse and the resulting interactions between stars. A more extreme example of this is at the centers of galaxies such as our Milky Way. These dense conditions have produced a supermassive black hole with a mass equivalent to 4 million Suns. By modeling the present day distribution of stars near this black hole we can begin to understand its formation and growth. Click here to learn more.
Though my initial research focus was on the dynamical evolution of galactic nuclei and globular star clusters more recently I have shifted the focus to both dynamical studies and observation. Ten years ago I secured funding allowing for Butler’s membership in the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) telescope consortium. This membership in SARA gives us nearly 70 nights per year on 1-meter class telescopes located at Kitt Peak in Arizona, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile, and the Kapteyn Telescope which is part of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. Since then my students and I have built research program searching for and understanding the properties of variable stars in globular star clusters.
Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences for Student Academic Affairs
Ph.D., The College of William and Mary, 1991
My research focuses on accreting compact objects. When stars die they leave behind very dense remnants, which, depending on mass of the progenitor star, can be a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole. Many of these objects can be found in binary systems in an orbit with a regular star. Strong gravitational interactions cause material to fall from the secondary star on to the compact object, where it forms a disk of hot material called an accretion disk. This disk is a means to transport matter on to the compact object, where it can be swallowed up or even ejected in extremely energetic outbursts.
Accretion is one of the most fundamental processes in the Universe, and as such, we are always attempting to improve our understanding of it. By studying accreting compact objects at multiple wavelengths, from radio all the way up to the highest energy X-rays and gamma rays, we can start to answer some of the greatest unanswered questions in astrophysics.
I work with data from a variety of telescopes, including JWST, the NuSTAR X-ray telescope, Swift, Chandra and Gemini. I often have multiple projects available working with data from these observatories for students who are interested in performing research.