Stellar evolution

Formation and evolution


Stellar physics

What happens inside a star?

In Exeter, we study the physical and evolutionary properties of stars of various masses. Our activities focus on the development of numerical models including the best appropriate physics(like thermodynamics, energy transport and opacity properties of matter) and the description of hydrodynamical processes.

We are currently developing a time implicit, multi-dimensional hydrodynamical code in order to study various processes characteristic of stellar fluid dynamics (e.g. turbulence, convection, rotation, oscillations). Such models predict fundamental stellar properties which can be compared to observational data obtained with telescopes. The main motivation is to test fundamental physics in astrophysical "laboratories" and to provide the best theoretical foundation to analyse the outcome of observational programs. This field of research is based on strong interaction with the Applied Mathematics department of the University of Exeter.

Research areas

Stellar evolution

Isabelle Baraffe and Matthew Bate work on developing an implicit stellar evolution code.

Formation and evolution

Matthew Bate, Isabelle Baraffe and Gilles Chabrier study the link between hydrodynamical star formation and quasi-static stellar evolution, and the impact of accretion on the structure of protostars.


Isabelle Baraffe, Gilles Chabrier, Matthew Browning and Sean Matt study convection, rotation and magnetic activity in low mass stars and brown dwarfs.

Stellar winds and star disc interaction

Sean Matt is studying stellar winds and angular momentum loss from magnetically active stars as well as the interaction between the accretion disc and the star for young objects.

Current researchers


Professor Matthew Bate, Professor Isabelle Baraffe, Dr Matthew Browning, Professor Gilles Chabrier, Dr Sean Matt.

Post-doctorals and Fellows

Dr Jane Pratt, Dr Tom Goffrey, Dr Maria Weber, Dr Laura Currie, Dr Lucia Duarte, Dr Thomas Constantino, Dr Victor See.


Felix Sainsbury-Martinez, Georgios Pantolmos, Adam Finley, Mark Phillips.