Raj Gohil
Graduate Student

B.S. in Physics, University of California-Los Angeles, 2012

Research Interests

My research focuses on studying the extremely luminous objects (more than a billion times the solar luminosity) called active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Many of these objects are hidden behind dust and gas. Dusty starburst discs could explain the obscuration of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at intermediate redshift when a large gas fraction is available in galaxies. My work involves the numerical modeling of these regions (2D structure) from the scratch which includes solving non-linear second order differential equation (boundary value problem) using finite-difference method, a set of coupled equations using iterative method, and non-linear flux conservative equation using various schemes. The end goal is to predict the observables such as column density along a line of sight, the equivalent width of the Fe Kα line, Cosmic X-ray background, and Cosmic Infrared background which can be tested against observations. 

I am also interested in studying interaction between an exoplanet and its host star through stellar radiation and stellar wind. Currently, I am investigating the dynamical interaction between an exoplanet and stellar wind of M-dwarf star. M-dwarfs are very common type of stellar systems (around ~75 per cent) in our neighborhood. Moreover, these stars are cooler in compare to the Sun, having a closer habitable zone. Therefore, these are excellent candidates for the detection of exoplanets. However, M-dwarfs are very active stars and frequently having coronal mass ejection, which can increase difficulties for an exoplanet to sustain life. These complexities make M-dwarfs an active area of research. 


Gohil, R. & Ballantyne, D.R., The Shape of the Cosmic X-ray Background: Nuclear Starburst Discs an the Redshift Evolution of AGN obscuration, submitted to arXiv (1711.05268) and MNRAS

Gohil, R. & Ballantyne, D.R., 2017, Modeling the Vertical Structure of Nuclear Starburst Discs: A Possible Source of AGN Obscuration at z~1, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 468 (4), p. 4944

Gohil, R. & Ballantyne, D.R., 2015, On the equivalent width of the Fe Kα line produced by a dusty absorber in active galactic nuclei, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol.  449, p. 1449.

Memberships and Committees:

American Astronomical Society