I am an assistant professor in the Physics and Astronomy department of Texas A&M University-Commerce. I am aware of a certain congruence of my family name and chosen career, and am always delighted to discuss my ancestry (although one should read this first, though). I might also be the Czech Republic’s answer to Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Me and some leaves

My research interest is in nuclear physics, astrophysics and the connections between the two, especially in the exploration of dense matter in supernovae and neutron stars. I am particularly interested in linking observable properties of neutron stars and supernovae to properties of nuclear matter such as the incompressibility and symmetry energy that are potentially measurable in terrestrial experiments. My research has focused on:

  • Global properties of neutron stars including constructing the nuclear equation of state (EoS) from the underlying nuclear interaction, understanding the dependence of the EoS on the properties of asymmetric nuclear matter and identifying the most useful global neutron star parameters with which to constrain the equation of state.
  • The physics of specific density regimes within neutron stars and supernovae, particularly that regime leading up to the transition from inhomogeneous nuclear matter to uniform matter, as manifest in the inner crust of neutron stars and in supernovae.

My recent research projects have included a detailed study of the inner crust of a neutron star through a simple liquid drop model of nuclei, developed with a graduate student under my supervision; the detailed study of the transition to uniform nuclear matter using a state-of-the-art three-dimensional Hartree-Fock (HF) code developed during my PhD research; and the study of the link between the nuclear symmetry energy and the binding energy of a neutron star, which leads to a new observational constraint on the symmetry energy when applied to the double pulsar J0737-3039.