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James Lattimer has made a number of fundamental contributions to the field of nuclear astrophysics with a particular focus on neutron stars, which are ultra-dense objects formed in supernova explosions. In 1974, he proposed that the origin of many heavy elements stems from neutron star mergers, which was confirmed in the observation of the first neutron star merger, GW170817, in gravitational waves, gamma rays and optical light. In 1986, he helped compute the neutrino signal from the birth of neutron stars that matched SN1987A, a nearby supernova discovered in 1987. He helped produce the first publicly available, open-source, equation of state for dense matter for use in computational simulations. In 2011, his team discovered superfluidity in the core of a neutron star for the first time.
- PhD, University of Texas at Austin
- BS, University of Notre Dame