Mercedes Richards Honored As Woman Physicist Of The Month By The American Physical Society
Mercedes Richards, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, is being honored as the July 2013 Woman Physicist of the Month by the American Physical Society.
Richards studies close pairs of stars, called interacting binaries, which are pairs of stars that were formed at the same time, like twins, but in which each star matures at different rates and affects the evolution of its companion. Richards was lauded for her research on the dynamic interactions between close binary stars by the society’s Committee on the Status of Women in Physics. In particular, the committee cited her research involving 2D and 3D Doppler tomography for measuring the flow of material between the stars in these paired systems, and her hydrodynamic simulations of the gas flowing between the paired stars.