Davidson Fellows - 2012 Fellow Duligur Ibeling


Duligur Ibeling

$25,000 Scholarship Recipient

Age: 18
Osseo, MN
Category: Science
Project Title: “The Metallicity-Dependent Transition between White Dwarfs and Type II Supernovae.”


Duligur’s project constitutes the first-ever detailed determination of the minimum mass for core-collapse supernovae as a function of metallicity. This allows for more accurate prediction of the final fates of certain stars, as well as galactic supernova formation rates. His results indicate that the minimum mass is lowest at about 1/100 the solar metallicity but steeply increases in the current universe, which consequently means there should be fewer supernovae in the current universe than in the past. This project improves on previous estimates of the minimum supernovae mass that were very uncertain. The results have fascinating implications, indicating that under certain conditions, 20-25% more supernovae might be formed than previously thought. He knew that the WD-SNII transition had not yet been studied extensively and could have a great impact on our understanding of galactic structure, and that “black hole of knowledge” was what he found most interesting.

The results of this project allow scientists to estimate how many supernovae occurred at each epoch of the universe, thus improving human understanding of the structure, chemical evolution, and light emissions of the universe over its entire history. Since supernovae produce most of the heavy elements, including those necessary for life, and their blast waves affect the surrounding gas, a better understanding of these luminous explosions is essential to tracing the evolution of galaxies. The project also provides a solid foundation for future research, including completely quantifying the implications for star formation and cosmology, and future observations of more distant stars and supernovae, such as those planned for new telescopes.

Duligur hopes to pursue a career in scientific research. He has been named a 2012 Presidential Scholar and a 2012 National Merit Scholarship winner. Duligur graduated from Wayzata High School and is a freshman at Harvard University.

Click the links below to view hi-res photos of Duligur:

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Click here to view the full listing of the 2012 Davidson Fellows. 
Click here to view Duligur's press release.

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