Computer simulations and created visualizations of how stars collided that were created by an Allegheny College professor and a student researcher have been featured on The History Channel will replay Monday.

The History Channel describes “The Life and Death of Stars,” a segment of its series “The Universe” as “a front row seat to the most amazing light show in the cosmos.” The episode will play on the History Channel Monday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

It features a portion of the summer work conducted by James Lombardi Jr., associate professor of physics at Allegheny College, and his student research assistant, Alexander Brown.

Lombardi and Brown performed computer simulations and created visualizations of a stellar collision that help establish how stars called “blue stragglers” can be formed through the collision of “garden-variety” stars.

“Alex has accomplished a tremendous amount during his internship,” said Lombardi. “Our interactions this summer quickly developed from that of a student and teacher to that of two colleagues. Alex completed not only the collision and visualization for the History Channel but also has initiated a series of new state-of-the-art calculations modeling collisions of more massive stars.”

“My internship has given me experiences that have not only stimulated my imagination but will also benefit me in my future academic and professional careers,” said Brown, a junior at Allegheny. “I’ve learned things this summer that can only be taught outside of the classroom.”

A similar visualization by Lombardi is currently playing in the planetarium show “Cosmic Collisions” at the American Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Nature and Science and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.



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Computer simulations on how stars collided created by James Lombardi Jr., associate professor of physics at Allegheny College, and his student research assistant, Alexander Brown, will be featured on The History Channel’s “The Universe” Monday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

To view the visualizations on the Allegheny College’s website go to http://webpub.allegheny.edu/employee/jalombar/movies/.

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