Kavli Summer Program In Astrophysics 2023:

The lives, deaths and afterlives of interacting stars

MPA Garching

June 26th - August 4th, 2023


The study of stellar structure and evolution, the lives and sometimes explosive deaths of stars, has involved numerous insights into physics and astrophysics. There is increasing interest in the astrophysical importance of stars which interact during their lives: it is clear that not only are interactions between stars responsible for the production of a large variety of stellar exotica, they are also significant in shaping the populations of “normal” stars we observe. Not only is the diversity of supernovae heavily sculpted by such stellar interactions, but novel classes of stellar transients are being recognised as direct consequences of stellar interactions. Such stellar interactions also pave the route to the formation of close binary systems containing compact objects, e.g. the known stellar-mass black holes, and so understanding these interactions between stars is vital for astrophysical interpretation of gravitational-wave observations from present and near-future observatories.

The physics of those interactions is itself an interesting field of study, and modelling those stellar interactions is often extremely challenging, hence many important processes are still commonly described using old, extremely simplified, analytic schemes. Thankfully new modelling capabilities and new data from large surveys, including internal structures revealed through asteroseismology, are helping us to address those old inadequacies. Properly taking into account the potential effects of stellar interactions is also important to correctly interpret the data from such population surveys.

This summer school will bring together experts in stars and their interactions, including specialists in relevant modern computational tools, to work together with the student fellows to improve our understanding of the physics, outcomes, and significance of stellar interactions

You can apply to the program on this page! 

Program information



Jim Fuller is an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology. He is a theoretical astrophysicist with interest in stellar structure and evolution, planets, exoplanets, asteroseismology, binary stars, and supernovae.

Shazrene Mohamed is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami. She is a computational stellar astrophysicist whose research focuses on binary star interactions, stellar wind interactions and explosions .

 Scientific Program


Scientific Organizing Committee

      • Selma de Mink (MPA, co-chair)
      • Stephen Justham (MPA, co-chair)
      • Maria Drout (Toronto)
      • Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz (UCSC)
      • Tamara Rogers (Newcastle)
      • Nathan Smith (Arizona)
      • Achim Weiss (MPA)
      • Paul Ricker (U. Illinois)

Program LOC

      • Kavli Summer Program MPA contact:  <>
      • For general questions about the program, please contact Pascale Garaud (pgaraud at ucsc dot edu)

Program Supported By

The Kavli Foundation

The Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics