Mordecai-Mark Mac Low

Curator and Professor, Department of Astrophysics, Division of Physical Sciences
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Phone:
212-496-3443

Education

  • University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D., 1989
  • University of Colorado at Boulder, M.A., 1985
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1983

Research Interests

Dr. Mac Low's work focuses on understanding the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies. Working with students and colleagues, he has developed numerical models at different physical scales to attack these problems. At the smallest scales, he is studying the formation in protoplanetary disks of the millimeter-sized glassy beads known as chondrules that form half the mass of the most primitive Solar System meteorites. Still within these disks, he studies the formation of planetesimals from rocks, and the migration of planets through the gas disk. At scales of less than one light year, he has simulated the behavior of self-gravitating, supersonic, magnetized turbulence to understand the formation of the dense cloud cores in which protostars are observed, and has modeled the expansion of ionized regions in such turbulence.  At scales of hundreds to thousands of light years, he is studying the influence of multiple supernova explosions on the interstellar gas, and how clouds of star-forming molecular gas form.  Finally, at the galactic scale of tens of thousands of light years, he studies the large-scale formation of stars in galaxies. 

Dr. Mac Low serves as an advisor for the HPC facilities development and expansion. His research group relies on computational modeling using gas dynamical and magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) simulations to study the formation of planets, and stars, and the structure of the interstellar gas, with applications to galactic winds and galaxy formation.

Links

Division of Physical Sciences

Department of Astrophysics

Computational Sciences

Richard Gilder Graduate School

Mordecai-Mark Mac Low's website

Publications

2022

Kuznetsova, A., Bae, J., Hartmann, L., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2022. Anisotropic Infall and Substructure formation in Embedded Disks. The Astrophysical Journal 928:92 (17 pp).

Ibáñez-Mejía, J. C., Mac Low, M.-M., & Klessen, R. S. 2022. Gravity Versus Magnetic Fields in Forming Molecular Clouds. The Astrophysical Journal 925:196 (14 pp).

2021

Wang, Yi-Han, McKernan, B., Ford, K. E. S., Perna, R., Leigh, N., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2021. Symmetry Breaking in Dynamical Encounters in the Disks of Active Galactic Nuclei. The Astrophysical Journal (Letters) 923:L23 (6 pp).

Olsen, K. P., Burkhart, B., Mac Low, M.-M., Treß, R. G., Greve, T. R., Vizgan, D., Motka, J., Borrow, J., Popping, G., Davé, R., Smith, R. J., Narayanan, D. 2021. SIGAME v3: Gas Fragmentation in Postprocessing of Cosmological Simulations for More Accurate Infrared Line Emission Modeling. The Astrophysical Journal 922:88 (21 pp).

Treß, R. G., Smith, R. J., Sormani, M. C., Glover, S. C. O., Klessen, R. S., Mac Low, M.-M., Clark, P., Duarte-Cabral, A. 2021. Simulations of the Star-Forming Molecular Gas in an Interacting M51-like Galaxy: Cloud Population Statistics. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 505:5438–5459.

Olsen, K. P., Burkhart, B., Mac Low, M.-M., Treß, R. G., Greve, T. R., Vizgan, D., Motka, J., Borrow, J., Popping, G., Davé, R., Smith, R. J., Narayanan, D. 2021. SIGAME v3: Gas Fragmentation in Postprocessing of Cosmological Simulations for More Accurate Infrared Line Emission Modeling. The Astrophysical Journal 922:88 (21 pp).

Marchand, P., Guillet, V., Lebreuilly, U., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2021. Fast Methods to track grain coagulation and Ionization. I. Analytic Derivation. Astronomy & Astrophysics 649:50 (11 pp).

Gent, F. A., Mac Low, M.-M., Käypylä, M. J., & Singh, N. K. 2021. Small-Scale Dynamo in Supernova-Driven Interstellar Turbulence. The Astrophysical Journal (Letters) 910:L15 (8 pp).

Fujita, A., Misawa, T., Charlton, J. C., Meiksin, A., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2021. Origin of Weak Mg ii and Higher Ionization Absorption Lines in an Outflow from Intermediate-Redshift Dwarf Satellite Galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal 909:157 (21 pp).

Cournoyer-Cloutier, C., Tran, A., Lewis, S., Wall, J. E., Harris, W. E., Mac Low, M.-M., McMillan, S. L. W., Portegies Zwart, S., Sills, A. 2021. Implementing Primordial Binaries in Simulations of Star Cluster Formation with a Hybrid MHD and Direct N-Body Method.  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 501:4464-4478.

2020

Burkhart, B., Appel, S. M., Bialy, S., Cho, J., Christensen, A. J., Collins, D., Federrath, C., Fielding, D., Li, M., Finkbeiner, D., Hill, A. S., Ibáñez-Mejía, J. C., Krumholz, M. R., Lazarian, A., Mac Low, M.-M., Mocz, P., Naiman, J., Shane, B., Slepian, Z., Yuan, Y., Portillo, S. K. N. 2020. The Catalogue for Astrophysical Turbulence Simulations (CATS). The Astrophysical Journal 905:14 (15 pp).

Wall, J. E., Mac Low, M.-M., McMillan, S. L. W., Klessen, R. S., Portegies Zwart, P., & Pellegrino, A. 2020. Modeling of the Effects of Stellar Feedback during Star Cluster Formation Using a Hybrid Gas and N-Body Method. The Astrophysical Journal 904:192 (20 pp).

Secunda, A., Bellovary, J., Mac Low, M.-M., Ford, K. E. S., McKernan, B, Leigh, N. W. C., Lyra, W., Sandor, Zs., & Adorno, J. I. 2020. Orbital Migration of Interacting Stellar Mass Black Holes in Disks around Supermas sive Black Holes II. Spins and Incoming Objects. The Astrophysical Journal 903:133 (15 pp).

Slavin, J. D., Dwek, E., Mac Low, M.-M., & Hill, A. S. 2020. The Dynamics, Destruction, and Survival of Supernova-Formed Dust Grains. The Astrophysical Journal 902:135 (12 pp).

De Pree, C. G., Wilner, D. J., Kristensen, L. E., Galván-Madrid, R., Goss, W. M., Klessen, R. S., Mac Low, M.-M., Peters, T., Robinson, A., Sloman, S., & Rao, M. 2020. Time-Variable Radio Recombination Line Emission in W49A.  The Astrophysical Journal 160:234 (13 pp).

Leung, T. K. D., Pallottini, A., Ferrara, A., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2020. Dynamical Properties of Molecular Cloud Complexes in Galaxies at the Epoch of Reionization. The Astrophysical Journal 895:24 (16 pp).

Emerick, A., Bryan, G. L., & Mac Low, M.-M. 2020. Simulating Metal Mixing of Both Common and Rare Enrichment Sources in a Low Mass Dwarf Galaxy. The Astrophysical Journal 890:155 (17 pp).

Treß, R. G., Smith, R. J., Sormani, M. C., Glover, S. C. O., Klessen, R. S., Mac Low, M.-M., & Clark, P. C. 2020. Simulations of the Star-Forming Molecular Gas in an Interacting M51-like Galaxy. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 492: 2973–2995.

Gent, F. A., Mac Low, M.-M., Käypylä, M. J., Sarson, G. R., Hollins, J. F. 2020. Modelling Supernova Driven Turbulence. Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 114:77–105.

2019

Wall, J. E., McMillan, S. L., Mac Low, M.-M., Klessen, R. S., & Portegies Zwart, S. 2019. Collisional N-Body Dynamics Coupled to Self-Gravitating Magnetohydrodynamics Reveals Dynamical Binary Formation. The Astrophysical Journal 887: 62 (12 pp).

Chira, R.-A., Ibáñez-Mejía, J.C., Mac Low, M.-M., and Henning, Th. 2019. How do velocity structure functions trace gas dynamics in simulated molecular clouds? Astronomy & Astrophysics 630: A97 (21 pp).

Beane, A., Sanderson, R., Ness, M. K., Johnston, K. V., Filho, D. G., Mac Low, M.-M., Anglés-Alcázar, D., Hogg, D. W., and Laporte, C. F. P. 2019. The Implications of Local Fluctuations in the Galactic Midplane for Dynamical Analysis in the Gaia Era. The Astrophysical Journal 883: 103 (17 pp.).

Secunda, A., Bellovary, J., Mac Low, M.-M., Ford, K. E. S., McKernan, B., Leigh, N., and Lyra, W. 2019. Orbital Migration of Interacting Stellar Mass Black Holes in Disks around Supermassive Black Holes. The Astrophysical Journal 878: 85 (18 pp).

Gent, F. A., Mac Low, M.-M., Käypylä, M. J., Sarson, G. R., and Hollins, J. F. 2019. Modelling supernova driven turbulence,”  Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 114: 77-105.

Emerick, A., Bryan, G. L., and Mac Low, M.-M. 2019. Simulating an Isolated Dwarf Galaxy with Energetic Feedback and Chemical Yields from Individual Stars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 482: 1304–1329.

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • AMNH Masters of Arts in Teaching Program
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 2007-Present
  • Visiting Research Professor, Department of Physics, Drexel University, 2012-present

Courses Taught

  • Interstellar Medium, Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 2005
  • Space Systems, Master of Arts in Teaching, Gilder Graduate School, AMNH, 2011-2014, 2016, 2018, 2020
  • Modeling the Universe, Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 2017, 2022

Graduate Advisees

  • Andrew Emerick, co-advisor, Columbia University
  • Joshua Wall, co-advisor, Drexel University
  • Juan Ibáñez-Mejía, co-advisor, Heidelberg University
  • Ernest Mamikonyan, co-advisor, Drexel University

Graduate Committees

  • Andrew Emerick, Columbia University (co-chair) 
  • Joshua Wall, Drexel University (co-chair)
  • Juan Ibáñez-Mejía, Heidelberg University (co-chair)
  • Ernest Mamikonyan, Drexel University (co-chair)
  • William Farner, Drexel University 
  • Sean Lewis, Drexel University (co-chair)
  • Aaron Tran, Columbia University
  • Jennifer Mead, Columbia University (co-chair)
  • Brooke Polak, Heidelberg University(co-chair)
  • Adilkhan Asilkhan, Almaty U. of Power Engineering & Telecommunications (foreign advisor)
  • Rubén Guerrero, U. Nacional Autónoma de México