Gesa H.-M. Bertrang
I use the powerful tool of polarization to characterize dust grains and magnetic fields!
Getting to know the looks of dust grains at the various stages of planet formation, and, at the same time, constraining disk evolution by probing for magnetic fields, that's the unique power of polarization. However, to achieve this, it is necessary to keep simulations and observations working closely together. That is what I am pursuing, currently as Postdoctoral Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany.
In my free time, after I've enjoyed the vast beauty of Chile, I am now exploring Germany's far South (↳photos).
On the following pages, I prepared an overview for you about myself and my research. Enjoy!
This applies to our on-hand work and even more so to the community itself. Promoting equal opportunities for everyone is essential to me. I pursue this as Postdoc Representative, Conflict Coach, and LGBT* Rights Advocate.
2020 Jul - Conference: Exoplanets III,
Heidelberg, Germany, Virtual Space
2020 Aug Herzberg Astrophysics (DRAO), Canada, virtual space
Gap, shadows, spirals, and streamers: SPHERE observations of binary-disk interaction in GG TAuri A
Self-scattering on non-spherical dust grains
Disks Around T Tauri Stars with SPHERE (DARTTS-S) II: Twenty-one new polarimetric images of young stellar disks
Intrinsic polarisation of elongated porous dust grains
2020 Aug - Herzberg Astrophysics DRAO, Virtual Space
2020 May - Workshop: Protoplanetary Disk Chemodynamics, Potsdam
2020 Apr - Workshop: Building Blocks of Planets, Ringberg Castle
2020 Jan - Astrophysical Colloquium, Tübingen
2019 Nov - Science of Early Life conference, Kloster Seeon
2019 Oct - ESO, Garching
2019 Aug - Disks2Planets workshop, Ringberg Castle
2019 Aug - NOAO, Tucson
2019 Aug - MIT, Kavli Institute
2019 Aug - Harvard, CfA
2019 Aug - Boston University, Dep. of Astronomy
2019 Mar - Oxford, AOPP
My academic career
PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) on "Observations and simulations of polarized radiation as tracer of magnetic fields in star formation"...
Diploma in physics (Dipl.-Phys.) Thesis title: "Magnetic fields in star formation"...
Senior postdoctoral research associate in the UFOS group (www.ufos-project.eu) at Max Planck Institute for Astronomy....
Grant (~125,000 USD) from the Chilean government to carry out independent research, hosted at Universidad de Chile (w Laura Perez)....
Grant (~112,000 USD) to carry out independent research within the Millenium ALMA Disk nucleus (MAD), hosted at Universidad de Chile (w Simon Casassus) and Universidad Diego Portales (w Lucas Cieza)....
What I do
Young stars are surrounded by disks of dust and gas. These circumstellar disks are the birthplaces of planets. Understanding the physical processes in these disk is vital for the understanding of planet formation. It has been predicted that magnetic fields are an important factor on a wide range of physical processes in protoplanetary disks, such as the migration of planet(esimals) and the mere evolution of disks. Yet, observational constraints are still pending. In the classical picture, (sub-)mm continuum polarisation is the tracer for magnetic fields in disks. Aspherical dust grains, whose thermal emission is intrinsically polarized, get aligned by the magnetic field due to radiative torques. In recent years, however, this picture has been challenged. New theoretical studies show that (sub-)mm continuum polarisation can also be created by scattering of the thermal dust emission or arise from aspherical grains which are aligned by the radiation field rather than the magnetic field. These three mechanisms trace fundamentally different physics in protoplanetary disks, yet, their polarisation predictions are not clearly distinguishable. I am applying 3D radiative transfer simulations of the polarized continuum and gas emission in combination with observations to disentangle the different mechanisms behind the measured polarization aiming at constraining magnetic fields in protoplanetary disks.
Teaching: I am experienced as teaching assistant of several courses on undergrad level at Kiel University (Physics IV: nuclear physics, particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology; Elementary mathematical methods in physics I & II).
- 2020 Jan: Talk at "Faszination Astronomie" at HdA, Heidelberg
- 2019 Nov: Talk at the Koblenz Technology Night, Koblenz
- 2019 Jul: Talk to the 50thanniversary of MPIA at HdA, Heidelberg
- 2019 Jan: Talk at Astronomy on Tap, "Making the invisible visible", Heidelberg
- 2015 Jun: Newspaper article to the 350th anniversary of Kiel University
- 2013 Jun: Girls Day, Solar observations, Kiel University
Get in touch with me
Get in touch
Please pick your most favorite way to contact me by either clicking on one of the buttons in the header or following the contact information below.
phone: +49 6221 528 367
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
69117 Heidelberg, Germany
bertrang (at) mpia (dot) de
astro (at) gesabertrang (dot) com