Research

MAGNETIC MONOPOLES

Representation of a magnetic monopole attached to its Dirac string. A. Rajantie,  Phys. Today 69 10 (2016)

I became interested in magnetic monopoles last year. The aesthetic nature of the symmetrized Maxwell’s equations is what initially drove me to the subject and I have been fairly fascinated towards it ever since.  In the standard literature of magnetic monopoles, there is an open puzzle: Can the Dirac quantization condition be obtained if gauge invariance is broken through massive photons?  In a paper I recently co-authored with Prof. Alfred Goldhaber, from Stony Brook, we answer this question in the affirmative.

 

 


NEUTRON STARS

Qualitative behavior of the magnetic field of a newly-born neutron star. Heras (2016).

Neutron stars are the extremely dense remnants of massive stars after they die and explode as supernovae. These amazing compact remnants have the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, super high densities, and very high velocities. What initially drove me to this subject back in high school is the fact that no one has come up with a concise explanation as to why neutron stars receive an intrinsic “kick” at birth, which originates their large space velocities. The research I have done in is centered on this specific problem. 

 


PHYSICS TODAY PAPERS

R. Heras, Phys. Today (March 2017)

I have published three papers in Physics Today. The first one, back when I was a High School student, is an apologia for individualism in physics. This essay was the most viewed article of 2013 in Physics Today’s online edition. The second piece is a critical essay against the traditional physics teaching. The origin of this essay was an invitation from Physics Today’s editor to write it. This essay was recently named amongst the ten most popular Physics Today articles of 2017.

 


RELATIVITY AND ELECTRODYNAMICS

I have not much to add in this section, but to say that relativity and electrodynamics are two of my most loved topics in physics. I take a great amount of pleasure in studying the details of these theories as well as teaching them every time I got the chance. 


HISTORY OF RELATIVITY

In 1887 Woldemar Voigt published the paper “On Doppler’s Principle,” in which he demanded covariance to the homogeneous wave equation in inertial reference frames, assumed the invariance of the speed of light in these frames, and obtained a set of spacetime transformations different from the Lorentz transformations. My papers on the history of relativity are centered on this subject.