Kenji Emerson is a sophomore at the University of Hawaii at Hilo currently majoring in Physics and Astronomy. Although currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in both of these fields, he aims for the completion PhD degree and to conduct research in astronomy (of interest, among others, is cosmology).

Born and raised in Hilo on the island of Hawaii, leisure activities include video games, tennis, and a modest bit of socialization.

Home Island: Big Island
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Hilo

Akamai Project: Modeling Polarization Morphologies in Young Star-Forming Regions

Project Site: Smithsonian Submillimeter Array (SMA)

Mentor: Dr. Ramprasad Rao

Project Abstract:

We present an algorithmic method of simulating the intensity and polarization results of protoplanetary star-forming regions for the backwards comparisons to observational results. The orientation of oblong shaped dust grains in protoplanetary regions is heavily influenced by the prevailing magnetic field. Dust grains influence observed polarization angles by reflecting with a vector aligned with the grain’s longest axis. The magnetic field vectors are therefore aligned perpendicular to the polarization vectors. We generate models of protoplanetary regions. By toggling functions that describe the geometries, density profile, polarization models, and magnetic fields of these regions, we attempt to generate similar conditions in our simulations to observational data. Matching correlations between the simulations, and the constraints and data from observational studies, inform us of the possible arrangements that a protoplanetary region might have.