My interests center on supernovae and astrophysical gas dynamics.  I have carried out modeling of supernova light curves, the effect of mass loss on a supernova, fallback of supernova gas to a central neutron star, the evolution of the bubble from a rotating neutron star through several stages of evolution, and the interaction of a supernova with circumstellar gas.  The research involves making predictions for multiwavelength observations.  My work on collisionless shocks explained the mysterious hydrogen emission from fast shock waves. On a larger scale, my research provided an analytical solution for galactic superwinds from thermalized supernova energy

Principal Contributions to Science

  1. 1976  Showed that the explosion of a massive star at the end of its evolution as a red supergiant is consistent with the resulting supernovae.  Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities cause mixing during the explosion. Chevalier, R. A. 1976. “The Hydrodynamics of Type II Supernovae,” Astrophys. J., 207, 872-887.   (400 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1980 Collisionless shock model for Halpha emission from fast shock waves; role of charge transfer in producing a broad line component. Chevalier, R. A. Kirshner, R. P. and Raymond, J. C. 1980. “The Optical Emission from a Fast Shock Wave with Application to Supernova Remnants,” Astrophys. J., 235, 186-195.  (404 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1982 Self-similar model for outer supernova gas interacting with a circumstellar region. Chevalier, R. A. 1982. “Self-Similar Solutions for the Interaction of Stellar Ejecta with an External Medium,” Astrophys. J., 258, 790-797.  (1140 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1982 Basic hydrodynamic and radiative properties of supernovae support the circumstellar interaction model for radio and X-ray emission. Chevalier, R. A. 1982. “The Radio and X-ray Emission from Type II Supernovae” Astrophys. J., 259, 302-310.  (567 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1982 Overstability of radiative shock waves, in the interstellar medium or white dwarf accretion. Chevalier, R. A. and Imamura, J. N. 1982. “Linear Analysis of an Oscillatory Instability of Radiative Shock Waves,” Astrophys. J., 261, 543-549.     (369 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1984  Evolution of a pulsar nebula inside a supernova or a supernova remnant. Reynolds, S. P. and Chevalier, R. A. 1984. “Evolution of Pulsar-Driven Supernova Remnants,” Astrophys. J., 278, 630-648.     (363 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1985  Analytic model for a galactic superwind; early model for this phenomenon. Chevalier, R. A. and Clegg, A. W. 1985. “The Wind from a Starburst Galaxy Nucleus,” Nature, 317, 44-45.   (1010 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1989  Accretion (fallback) on to a newly formed neutron star; found limit above which there is steady accretion flow with neutrino losses. Chevalier, R. A. 1989. “Neutron Star Accretion in a Supernova,” Astrophys. J., 346, 847-859.    (519 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 1998  Analytic synchrotron self-absorption model for an expanding source that has been widely applied to radio supernovae and black hole tidal disruption events. Chevalier, R. A. 1998. “Synchrotron Self-Absorption in Radio Supernovae,” Astrophys. J., 499, 810-819.     (474 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 2000  The progenitors of gamma-ray bursts are massive stars, which have winds that modify their environment. This work calculated properties of bursts in a wind medium. Chevalier, R. A., & Li, Z.-Y. 2000. “Wind Models for Gamma-Ray Burst Afterglows: The Case for Two Types of Progenitors,” Astrophys. J., 536, 195-212   (706 Google Scholar citations) 

  1.  2011 Shock breakout from a supernova when the surrounding density is very high; the resulting high luminosity is comparable to that in superluminous supernovae. Chevalier, R. A., & Irwin, C. M. 2011. “Shock Breakout in Dense Mass Loss: Luminous Supernovae,” Astrophys. J. Lett., 729, L6–L9.     (421 Google Scholar citations) 

  1. 2022  Multiwavelength observations of a supernova in a dense medium that likely has shock breakout in circumstellar gas. Chandra, P., Chevalier, R. A., James, N. J. H., & Fox, O. D. 2022 “The luminous Type IIn supernova SN 2017hcc: Infrared bright, X-ray, and radio faint,” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 517, 4151-4161.   (5 Google Scholar citations) 

Chevalier Google Scholar Link

(Web of Science H-Index = 105)

See CV for a complete listing of publications