Benjamin Oppenheimer
Research Associate • Fellow
Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
303-492-5592, Duane C329B
Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy
University of Colorado
389 UCB
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0389

The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is revealing a surprisingly complex and dynamic circumgalactic media surrounding the range of galaxies spanning Hubble tuning fork.  I simulate galaxies and their galactic halos using cosmological hydrodynamical simulations.  My students, collaborators, and I relate the gaseous signatures observed by COS to the dynamical processes of gas accretion, outflows, and hot halo formation that regulate galaxy growth and evolution.  The thousands of orbits of COS UV spectroscopic data focused on the circumgalactic medium uniquely probe the history of gas originating from the intergalactic cosmic web on its journey to the galactic sites of star formation.  I am specifically interested in how star formation is quenched in passive "red-and-dead" galaxies, the role of supermassive black holes in feeding back upon gaseous halos, and  simply figuring how much stuff is around galaxies of all types.  I specifically run and analyze EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) simulations, and am taking advantage of the research computing resources at CU to create scientific visualizations to be shown at venues like the Fiske Planetarium.