Alex Chen uses GPU-based massive supercomputer simulations to study the complex plasma physics and radiative processes near astrophysical compact objects, namely neutron stars and black holes.
Alex's current research interests include multi-wavelength emission mechanisms from pulsars, plasma processes relevant to fast radio bursts (FRBs), magnetic reconnection in extreme astrophysical environments, gamma-ray flares from active galactic nuclei (AGN), and radiation physics in ultra strong magnetic fields near magnetars.
Alex obtained his PhD in physics from Columbia University in New York in 2017. His thesis included pioneering work on the global structure of the magnetospheres of pulsars. Afterwards, he spent three years as a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, continuing the research on the physics of pulsars. Then he spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at JILA at University of Colorado Boulder, studying plasma processes near black holes, before joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis.