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Stefan Laos

Postdoctoral Researcher

Stefan Laos, Ph.D.
B.A. 2017 Swarthmore
Ph.D. 2021 Vanderbilt


Ph: 954-559-4744
Nielsen Hall 135




I am interested in better understanding the processes stars undergo in the early portions of their lives. While we have a general understanding on how stars form and evolve with time, we have yet to understand in detail many of their observed phenomena at young ages (stellar winds, magnetic fields, mass accretion). My previous work has used optical and near-infrared observations to characterize the youngest observable stage of star formation (Class 0 protostars) as well as more evolved pre-main-sequence multiple systems. My current work focuses specifically on the circumstellar disks of young stars. I am analyzing high contrast imagery of nearby disks to reveal the intricacies in their complicated structure and its time evolution. My work also focuses on better understanding recently identified "Peter Pan" disk systems, which have observational evidence of harboring primordial gas disks at the surprisingly old ages of 45 Myr. These objects currently challenge our standard paradigm of disk evolution, which predicts timescales of gaseous disk dispersal on the order of 10 Myr as observed for the majority of other circumstellar disk systems. I am analyzing recently obtained Chandra X-ray observations to investigate the main suspected internal disk dispersal mechanism at work, x-ray induced photoevaporative stellar winds.