You are here

Kuan-Wen Chuang


Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 1990
M.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1982

Research Interests

  • Theoretical and Experimental High Energy Astrophysics
  • Optical Observations of Gamma Ray Burst Counterparts

Gamma-Ray Burst is one of the most exciting discoveries in high-energy astrophysics. Gamma ray bursts have remained an enigma for almost four decades. The most important and unanswered questions still raise great interest. What are the sources of gamma ray bursts? And where are these sources, including direction and distance? Do short gamma ray bursts have galactic or extragalactic origin? And what are the mechanisms of generating gamma ray bursts and their optical counterparts?

My research interest focuses on various theoretical aspects of the two above questions focusing on one class (short gamma-ray bursts): These include the statistical study of spatial distribution of these short bursts, as well as the presumed source candidates, Black Holes. Although most gamma burst researchers believe that the long-duration bursts are extragalactic, the origin of short gamma bursts is still unclear. Searching for an optical counterpart of gamma ray bursts (including long and short gamma bursts) becomes important and profound in order to understand the source mechanisms. From ground observations (telescopes), the red shift (z value) of each detected optical counterpart will be accurately calculated. Energy information of each burst from gamma and optical ranges will also be treated with modern theoretic models. Not only does this research address fundamental issues of high-energy astrophysics, it also invites the development of new statistical codes, theoretic models, and technologies of observations by telescopes.