How does neural network help reveal the mass of (nearly) all the stars

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Our Liverpool Virtual Seminar Series on Data Intensive Science will continue on Tuesday 5th December 2023 at 3pm GMT. The seminar will be given by Hsiang-Chih Hwang, a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (USA), who will present “How does neural network help reveal the mass of (nearly) all the stars”.

Seminars in this series cover R&D outside of the data intensive science CDT’s core research areas and give an insight into cutting edge research in this area. At the end of the talk there will be a Q&A session with the speaker.

About the talk

Mass is the most fundamental stellar parameter of stars. The mass of a star largely determines its stellar structure, surface temperature, luminosity, chemical evolution, lifetime, and its ultimate fate. However, robust stellar mass measurements are challenging since we cannot place a star on a weight scale. In this talk, I will demonstrate how neural networks with a simple architecture can help reveal the mass of (nearly) all the stars ( In particular, I will discuss why neural networks play a critical role in extracting mass information from the orbital motions of wide binaries, which is difficult for traditional statistical tools. Using the combination of neural network and statistical inference, we measure the dynamical masses of stars across the famous "Hertzsprung–Russell diagram", where all the stars are populated in narrow regions in the surface temperature-luminosity space.

About the speaker

Dr Hsiang-Chih Hwang is a postdoctoral fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study (USA). He received his Ph.D. degree in astronomy from Johns Hopkins University in 2021. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, he earned his Bachelor's in Physics and Electrical Engineering at National Taiwan University. He is interested in various topics, including binary stars, three-body systems, white dwarf, Milky Way dynamics, and binary quasars. He is also a coffee and milk tea lover.

How to attend

Participation is free, but you need to register to attend this and other webinars in the series. For more information and how to register please follow this link. Once registered, you will receive the Zoom connection details on the morning of the online seminar.

The seminar details

Speaker: Hsiang-Chih Hwang (Institute for Advanced Study)

Seminar title: “How does neural network help reveal the mass of (nearly) all the stars”

Date/Time: Tuesday 5th December at 3pm GMT