Weekly Space Hangout: April 14, 2021 – White Dwarf Binary Systems with Dr. Ken Shen

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This week we are very pleased to welcome Dr. Ken Shen, assistant staff researcher in the UC Berkeley astronomy department, to the Weekly Space Hangout. Ken studies the astrophysics of white dwarfs in interacting binary systems, with a focus on thermonuclear phenomena.

Ken received his PhD in September 2010 in the Department of Physics at UC Santa Barbara, and from 2011-2014 he was a postdoctoral Einstein fellow at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Oh yeah! Ken appeared on Jeopardy on 24 February 2021 (unfortunately he didn’t finish in first place) but, in honor of the late Alex Trebek, he has donated his winnings to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

In his free time, Ken walks his dog, Lucy, and tries to keep up with the never-ending influx of New Yorker magazines.

You can follow Ken on Twitter (where he documented his entire Jeopardy Journey) and check out his research by visiting his website.

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