Welcome to my Research Page

My name is Cody Melton, an Undergraduate student at North Carolina State University. I am a double major pursuing a B.S. in Physics and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. I am a member of the University Honors Program, the Math Honors Program, and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national honors society for physics students. I am also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, as well as Phi Beta Kappa. I am currently involved in undergraduate research, which is focused on Core-Collapse Supernovae.

Core-Collapse Supernova

A Core-Collapse Supernova, which I will denote as CC-SNe, is the cataclysmic death of a star. Lucky for us, our Sun is quite a bit too small for this to occur. In order to have a star go into CC, you need a star around 8-10 times the mass of our Sun. If you have a star massive enough, in the center of the star it will collide atoms together due to the high temperature and pressure of the core, forming He from H, C & O from He, Ne from C, O and Si from Ne and so on until it cooks up Fe. During these cooking phases, the lighter elements are pushed outward and creates an onion like apearance, with H and He on the outer layer and Fe in the Core. Once this Fe core reaches the Chandrasekhar limit, about 1.4 solar masses, the gravity from the core is too much for the pressure of the gas, and all the matter begins falling onto the core. Through a number of events described on the SASI page, this ultimatelty leads to the stellar explosion, which can expel more energy in the matter of minutes than our Sun will expel during the entire course of it's life.

This is an image of Cassiopeia A, a CC-SNe remnant. The material seen is the material that was blown away during the massive explosion described to the left. These are the remains of the star, for which the elements made during the explosion, described on the nucleosynthesis page, are the same elements that will create new stars, new planets, and maybe new life. This same process happened for us. As Carl Sagan so eloquently put it, "We are made of star stuff."