Juhan Frank
Professor of Physics

Ph.D., 1978, University of Cambridge, England

Lic. Ciencias Fisicas (~MSc), 1970, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

e-mail: frank@rouge.phys.lsu.edu

Department of Physics and Astronomy
202 Nicholson Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

Office:251 Nicholson Hall
Phone:(225) 578-6845
FAX:(225) 578-5855

Current Course Materials
Click here to view course materials for the current semester.

Present Research Interests
The main research interests of our group focus on astrophysical objects whose emission is generated by accretion onto a compact object. These include active galactic nuclei in which huge energy fluxes in all wavebands are generated by accreting supermassive black holes, cataclysmic binaries containing an accreting white dwarf, and X-ray binaries involving an accreting neutron star or a black hole (Picture of a BH binary). One of the fundamental problems in the theory of active galactic nuclei is the origin of the supermassive black hole and of the large amounts of material it has to swallow in order to produce the observed luminosities. Most galaxies are now thought to harbor supermassive black hole (See Hubble Space Telescope Evidence). Interesting and challenging problems of hydrodynamics, thermal and dynamical stability, and radiative transfer arise in the study of how this material loses its angular momentum, falls inward, and in so doing generates the observed radiation. In accretion-powered binary stars, different types of flow and physical conditions are encountered depending on whether the accreting compact degenerate object is a white dwarf or a neutron star, and on whether or not it has a strong magnetic field. The spectral characteristics, state of polarization, and time variability of the emitted radiation depend on the above premises. Modeling the properties of the observed radiation is currently an extremely active and lively field of research whose goal is the unraveling of the origin, structure, and evolution of compact short-period binaries and binary pulsars.

In the past couple of years, we have become very interested in the origin and evolution of double white dwarf binaries, their evolutionary links to AM CVn systems, direct impact accretion, and the eventual fate of these systems. This topic is relevant to the analysis and interpretation of future observations with LISA.

Selected Publications

Published Jan 2002, Reprinted 2003:

Juhan Frank, Andrew King, and Derek Raine, "Accretion Power in Astrophysics", 3rd edition, Cambridge University Press, publication date: January 17, 2002. Another edition of the popular graduate-level textbook including many improved and updated sections, an up-to-date discussion of viscosity in accretion disks, and an entirely new chapter placing all known accretion solutions on a common framework and incorporating advection-dominated accretion flows.

Refereed Articles:

M.C.R. D'Souza, P.M. Motl, J.E. Tohline, J. Frank, "Numerical Simulations of the Onset and Stability of Mass Transfer in Binaries", Astrophys. J. 633:381 (2006)

P. M. Motl, J. E. Tohline, J. Frank, "Numerical Methods for the Simulation of Dynamical Mass Transfer in Binaries", Astrophys. J. Supp., 138:121 (2002)

P. McCormick, and J. Frank, "Evolutionary Effects of Irradiation in Cataclysmic Variables," Astrophys. J., 500:923 (1998).

A.R. King, J. Frank, U. Kolb, and H. Ritter, "Mass Transfer Cycles in Close Binaries with Evolved Companions", Astrophys. J., 482:919 (1997).

U. Kolb, A.R. King, H. Ritter, and J. Frank, "The Transient Nature of GRO J1655-40 and its Evolutionary State", Astrophys. J., 485:L33 (1997).

H. Vath, G. Chanmugam, and J. Frank, "The Magnetic Field of the Intermediate Polar RE0751+14," Astrophys. J., 457:407 (1996).

A.R. King, J. Frank, U. Kolb, and H. Ritter, "Global Analysis of Mass Transfer Cycles in Cataclysmic Variables," Astrophys. J., 467:761 (1996).

J. Frank, J.-P. Lasota, and G. Chanmugam, "Properties of the Exceptionally Long-Period AM Herculis System RXJ0515.41+0104.6," Astrophys. J., 453:446 (1995).

A.R. King, J. Frank, U. Kolb, and H. Ritter, "Mass Transfer Cycles in Cataclysmic Variables," Astrophys. J., (Letters), 444:L37 (1995).

... and now, for something completely different,

I wish I was there

This page was updated last on Monday, June 22, 2006