Astrophysics Observation, Instrumentation and Experiment, Astrophysics Theory
Professor Frebel’s research interests broadly cover observational stellar astrophysics. She is best known for her discoveries and spectroscopic analyses of the oldest, most metal-poor stars in the Milky Way and small dwarf galaxies (“stellar and dwarf galaxy archaeology”) to explore the chemical and physical conditions of the early universe.
Since these stars preserve a “fossil” record of early chemical enrichment events, they provide means to isolate and study clean signatures of individual nucleosynthesis events. This uncovers new knowledge relevant to a broad range of topics ranging from the first stars and first galaxies, the initial mass function, supernova yields and stellar nucleosynthesis, nuclear astrophysics and the r-process, chemical evolution and the formation and assembly of our Galaxy and its dwarf galaxies.
For their research, Professor Frebel and her group frequently use the 6.5m Magellan telescopes in Chile to obtain high-resolution optical spectroscopy. She also collaborates with theorists to connect her observations to results from large scale cosmological simulations to aid in the interpretation of the data.
She has mentored and advised students and emerging young scientists for more than 15 years. Convinced that everyone should have access to soft skill training she hopes to normalize that these skills are an integral part of a science education and not in competition with scientific research.
“R-process enrichment from a single event in an ancient dwarf galaxy” by Ji, Alexander P.; Frebel, Anna; Chiti, Anirudh; Simon, Joshua D., 2016 Nature, 531, 610
“Near-Field Cosmology with Extremely Metal-Poor Stars” by Frebel, Anna; Norris, John E., 2015 Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics 53, 631
“High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Extremely Metal-Poor Stars in the Least Evolved Galaxies: Ursa Major II and Coma Berenices” by Frebel, Anna; Simon, Joshua D.; Geha, Marla; Willman, Beth, 2010 Astrophysical Journal, 708, 560