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Natural Sciences and Engineering; Engineering

Pierre Bastien

Formation of stars and planetary systems

Professeur associé

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département de physique

pierre.bastien@umontreal.ca

Profile

Research expertise

My research deals mostly with star and planetary system formation. This is one of the priority research areas identified by the Canadian astronomical community. For this research, I mainly use light polarization as a means of gathering data.

Here are two examples of my ongoing research projects:

  1. Natural light vibrates in a plane that varies continuously and at random. When it vibrates in a preferential plane, we say that it is polarized. For measuring polarization from celestial objects, I am supervising a new polarimeter being built for the Mont Mégantic Observatory, POMM, that will be 100 times more precise than the one currently in use. Light from a young star is scattered and polarized by microscopic dust grains. By measuring this polarization, we can learn more about the properties of the grains and the distribution of matter around young stars or with disks of debris. Combining these data with other observations and with modelling, we learn about conditions in protoplanetary disks where planets are formed. I will also be observing stars with exoplanets to learn about the properties of the atmospheres of these planets and determine the inclination of their orbits.
  2. I also built a polarimeter, POL-2, for the James-Clerk-Maxwell radiotelescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It will soon give us information about magnetic fields in dense molecular clouds and star formation processes. We want to find out if magnetic fields are more important than turbulence (or vice versa) in slowing star formation processes, because observations show us that they are slower than what our models predict.

Areas of expertise

  • Star formation
  • Polarimetry
  • Young stars

For more information…

Affiliations and responsabilities

University service and activities

Activities within organizations or entities of the institution

Teaching and supervision

Student supervision

Theses and dissertation supervision (Papyrus Institutional Repository)

2011

Relevé polarimétrique d'étoiles candidates pour des disques de débris

Graduate : Simon, Amélie
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.
2010

Étude polarimétrique d’étoiles jeunes

Graduate : Jolin, Marc-André
Cycle : Master's
Grade : M. Sc.
2006

Analyse multi-échelles des champs magnétiques dans des nuages moléculaires à structures filmentaires

Graduate : Poidevin, Frédérick
Cycle : Doctoral
Grade : Ph. D.

Projects

Research projects

2017 - 2024

Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ)

Lead researcher : Pierre Bergeron
Funding sources: FRQNT/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FQRNT)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(RS) Programme de regroupements stratégiques
2016 - 2018

Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec (CRAQ)

Lead researcher : Pierre Bergeron
Funding sources: FRQNT/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FQRNT)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(RS) Programme de regroupements stratégiques
2008 - 2017

CENTRE DE RECHERCHE EN ASTROPHYSIQUE DU QUEBEC

Lead researcher : Pierre Bergeron
Funding sources: FRQNT/Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FQRNT)
Grant programs: PVXXXXXX-(RS) Programme de regroupements stratégiques
1994 - 2017

FORMATION D'ETOILES ET POLARIMETRIE

Lead researcher : Pierre Bastien
Funding sources: CRSNG/Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et génie du Canada (CRSNG)
Grant programs: PVX20965-(RGP) Programme de subvention à la découverte individuelle ou de groupe
2014 - 2015

SCUBA-2 SUBMILLIMETER CAMERA FOR ASTRONOMY

Lead researcher : Pierre Bastien
Co-researchers : Michel Fich
Funding sources: FCI/Fondation canadienne pour l'innovation
Grant programs:
2011 - 2015

FORMATION D'ÉTOILES ET POLARIMÉTRIE

Lead researcher : Pierre Bastien
2009 - 2013

Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic et laboratoire d'astrophysique expérimentale

Lead researcher : René Doyon
Co-researchers : Pierre Bergeron , Pierre Bastien , Claude Carignan , Daniel Nadeau , Nicole St-Louis

Outreach

Organisation d’événements

  • Organisation d'une conférence sur la polarimétrie: Conférence sur la polarimétrie astronomique 2008 - Science des petits et grands télescopes - Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Québec.

Publications and presentations

Disciplines

  • Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Areas of expertise

  • Fundamental astronomy
  • Astronomical and space-research instrumentation
  • Extrasolar planetary systems
  • Origin and evolution of solid surface planets
  • Polarimetry
  • Star formation
  • Young Stellar objects