Research

VLBA radio image of the expanding shock wave in RS Ophiuchi (O'Brien et al 2006)
VLBA radio image of the expanding shock wave in the 2006 outburst of RS Ophiuchi (O’Brien et al 2006) – the first time anybody had imaged the shock wave in a nova explosion

My research concentrates on the study of exploding stars – mainly nova outbursts caused by thermonuclear explosions on the surface of white dwarfs in binary star systems.

Over the years, I’ve developed expertise in a wide range of astrophysical techniques. I started as a theorist, working for 3 years on a model of a single stellar explosion (without even considering where it might be in the sky in case I fancied a look myself). However, since then I’ve used large telescopes around the world and in space, working across the spectrum from radio waves to X-rays whilst also carrying out numerical simulations of the aftermath of the explosions using my own hydrodynamic codes. Recently I’ve developed an interest in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) using radio telescopes.

Here is a list of my research papers from the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System.

Here is another list of my publications from Google Scholar.