Luke Bovard

Since September 2014 I have been a Ph.D. student in the Relativistic Astrophysics/Numerical Relativity group of Prof. Luciano Rezzolla at the Institut für Theoretische Physik, Goethe-Universität, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Research interests

My research interest is on the outflow of binary neutron star mergers and how that material undergoes nucleosynthesis. It is presently thought that the existence of heavy elements in our galaxy are due to the outflow of binary neutron star mergers, whose material undergoes rapid neutron capture (called r-process) which creates the heavy elements in our galaxy. Through numerical simulations, we are able to model the outflow from a merger and post-process it through nuclear networks in order to obtain abundancy patterns that can be compared with observation.

Furthermore, I am interested in issues of visualising numerical relativity simulations. Our simulations allow us to directly represent the physics being described and being able to look at these simulations in a clear way can aide in understanding. Furthermore, they provide many cool outreach images.


I did my Bachelors and Masters as the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada from 2007 to 2013. My Bachelor’s degree was in Mathematical Physics and my Master’s degree was in Applied Mathematics. My homepage there is located here.