Yajie Yuan works on building first-principles models for the high energy processes powered by black holes and neutron stars.
Black holes and neutron stars produce the most powerful relativistic outflows. They are prime movers of relativistic jets, gamma-ray bursts, tidal disruption events, and maybe fast radio bursts. One of the key questions regarding these sources is how the energy from the central engine eventually goes into high energy particles and radiation. This involves an interplay between general relativity, astroplasma physics, radiation mechanisms and sometimes quantum electrodynamics, in extreme regimes that are not accessible in terrestrial laboratories.
Yajie Yuan uses both theoretical analysis and state-of-the-art, large scale numerical simulations to model plasma dynamics and particle acceleration processes near black holes and neutron stars. In particular, Yajie Yuan and Alex Chen have developed GPU based, massively parallel codes for such simulations, greatly accelerating the computational effort for modeling complex plasma physics. Yajie is currently working on multimessenger emission from active galactic nuclei, and mechanisms for fast radio bursts.
Yajie Yuan joined Washington University in St. Louis in 2022. Before that, Yajie was a Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University (2016-2019) and a Flatiron Research Fellow at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute (2019-2022).