Uddipan Banik Recognized for "Pushing the Frontiers" of Galaxy Relaxation

Uddipan Banik, Member in the School of Natural Sciences, has received the Dirk Brouwer Memorial Prize from Yale University's Department of Astronomy. Banik, who also serves as a Joint Research Associate in Princeton University's Department of Astrophysical Sciences, was presented with the award for his Ph.D. thesis, titled "Pushing the Frontiers of Non-Equilibrium Dynamics of Collisionless and Weakly Collisional Self-Gravitating Systems." 

Banik's thesis developed novel theories to model the relaxation/equilibration of galaxies. Galaxy relaxation refers to the processes by which galaxies reach a stable, equilibrium state. Banik developed a comprehensive formalism to describe how, during the process of relaxation, disk-shaped galaxies (such as the Milky Way or the Messier 81 Galaxy illustrated above) respond to perturbations (e.g., satellite impacts), causing them to form spiral structures in "phase-space." In addition to this, Banik's thesis presented a new theory to explain the secular (namely slow and steady) evolution of galaxies, which sheds light on "hitherto unexplained secular phenomena in cored galaxies, namely core-stalling and dynamical buoyancy."

The Dirk Brouwer Memorial Prize is presented to recent graduates of the Yale Department of Astronomy for "outstanding theses of unusual merit in any branch of astronomy." The award is named for Dutch-American astronomer Dirk Brouwer, who was renowned for developing general methods for determining orbits and applying these methods to comets, asteroids, and planets. Brouwer was chairman of the Yale Department of Astronomy from 1941–66.

Read more about the Dirk Brouwer Memorial Prize on the Yale University website.
Read the abstract of Banik's thesis on the Princeton University website.