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University of Michigan Department of Astronomy1003 Dennison Building500 Church Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Office Location(s): 1003 Dennison
Rackham Merit Fellowship | BS, Harvard University | Advisor: Ted Bergin
Star and planet formation, protoplanetary disks
Tom Rice studies the origins of stars and planetary systems through multiple techniques: time-domain infrared astronomy; analysis of Galactic-scale molecular cloud surveys; and astrochemical observations of protoplanetary disks. He explores how the accretion rate and inner structure of protoplanetary disks around young stars changes over time scales of days, months, and years through time-domain near-infrared observations. With Ted Bergin (U-M) and Alyssa Goodman (Harvard), Rice is deconstructing an all-Galaxy survey of CO molecular clouds to learn about the hierarchical structure of star-forming gas on large scales. He’s beginning to study how nitrogen, an element necessary for life on Earth, is chemically distributed throughout planet-forming disks, as well as how it evolves from the earliest phases of star formation to the end of terrestrial planet formation. Through these studies, Rice is working toward a better understanding of how stars and planets form and become habitable.
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830 Dennison500 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI