Sameer, postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, describes himself as an explorer of the cosmos. He studies low density diffuse gas, the invisible matter surrounding galaxies.
The light emitted by millions of stars reveals the amount of matter contained in galaxies, but there is also matter in the outer parts of galaxies that doesn’t shine, according to Sameer. The invisible matter, known as the circumgalactic medium, is the focus of Sameer’s research.
Sameer became interested in this specific field because of the awestruck feeling he experienced when he first examined a spectrum. Spectrums, graphs that show how the intensity of light is emitted over a range of energies, can reveal many properties of cosmic objects such as planets, nebulae, and galaxies.
“The simple fact that such a wide range of cosmic objects could be studied by analyzing their spectra is what made me interested in my research,” he said.
Sameer’s research is important for understanding how galaxies form, grow, and change. The diffuse gas that he studies is consumed by galaxies and converted into stars, marking its importance in the evolution and growth of galaxies.
Sameer has enjoyed pursuing his postdoctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. He enjoys the friendly and collaborative environment of the Physics and Astronomy Department, and he appreciates the broad range of expertise of the contributors to the Notre Dame circumgalactic medium research group.
“They are experts in the study of diffuse gas around galaxies, and they have sustained theoretical and observational contributions to this field of research. The group has ties with theorists, simulators, and observers from multiple institutions with a goal of addressing fundamental questions about the nature of gaseous matter in and around galaxies,” he said.
Sameer’s advice for future postdocs is simple: “seek opportunities.” Following his own advice, Sameer recently competed and placed third in the College of Sciences’ first Postdoc Lightning Talk Competition.
“The experience was quite humbling,” he said. “It also gave me an opportunity to know more about the research activities carried out at Notre Dame, in other fields of science.”
Originally published by science.nd.edu on December 12, 2022.at