The subject I am currently working on are fast optical transients.
Another subject I am interested in are compact binary star. Specifically, binary stars containing white dwarfs, subdwarf B/O stars and related objects. The topic of my bachelor thesis is a pulsating SdO star, which are often found in a binary system with a short orbital periods. My work for my Master thesis about a eclipsing Post Common Envelope Binary (PCEB, also known as a pre-CV). I used high cadence ULTRACAM photometry with radial velocity measurements, to determine the mass and radius of both components. The figure to the right visualises the white dwarf in blue and the red dwarf in red. The yellow shade indicates the irradiation of the red dwarf by the white dwarf.
EL CVn binaries are eclipsing pre-white dwarfs and A-main sequence stars. The light curve of these systems shows shallow eclipses, 0.1 mag or less, and the targets are relativly blue. This type of binary was first discovered by the kepler satelite. Indications are that these systems are quite common, and SWASP found 17 of these systems (V<13). We use PTF light curve statistics and NOMAD colors to find new systems. We train a machine learning classifier (with a small sample that we found manually) to found more of these systems. Using this method we find a total of 37 new EL CVn binaries in the PTF light curve database. The figure shows the a slice of the light curve parameter space and the location of the EL CVn systems (blue=training sample, yellow=new discoveries, black other objects). We use the INT to obtain radial velocity curves of most of these systems.
The subject of my Master Thesis is PTF1108ag, a new eclipsing white dwarf red dwarf binary star. This research was carried out during 2012-2013, the second year of my Master education.
A the end of my Bachelor eduation I did a 3 month project, analysing spectra of pulsating SdO star SDSS J160043.6+074802.9 (found by Woudt et al. 2006 ). The report of my Bachelor thesis can be found here.