Professor, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Woosley's twin interests in the origin of the elements and the death of massive stars have led him to do theoretical work in a diverse set of fields. On the one hand, he studies nucleosynthetic "processes", the nuclear physics and theoretical astrophysics whereby the jigsaw puzzle of abundances that we see in stars has been assembled. This requires a firm grounding in nuclear physics, but also a thorough understanding of the lives of stars and their deaths as supernovae. Since the latter is poorly understood, Woosley and his many collaborators also use supercomputers and develop the necessary software to study supernovae and gamma-ray bursts of all types. Woosley proposed the "collapsar" model for gamma-ray bursts and was a co-investigator on the High Energy Transient Explorer that studied them. He is currently the PI for a nine institution "Computational Astrophysics Consortium" funded by the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) Program of the DOE. This consortium is dedicated to a better understanding of supernovae of all types achieved through a combination of analytic studies and supercomputer models.
BA Physics Rice University 1966
PhD Space Science Rice University 1971. Thesis adviser Don Clayton
Postdoctoral Researcher Kellog Lab, CalTech 1972-1975. Adviser Willy Fowler
Faculty UCSC Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics 1975 - Present
American Academy Arts and Sciences 2001
National Academy of Sciences 2006