A photograph of Christopher Dillon, wearing a blue shirt

Chris Dillon

MSCi Physics (First-Class Honours) graduate of Queen's University Belfast. Currently a 4th year Astrophysics PhD student at Queen's University Belfast. You can check out my academic profile here.

My PhD project title is Observations and Modelling of Intensity Time series for Biomedical and Astrophysical Applications .

I study nanoflares which are individually low energy flare events, (around a billionth that of a larger flare) but they occur much more frequently. Theoretically, hundreds or even thousands of nanoflares could be occurring per second over an entire stellar surface. This means nanoflares are capable of being a major component of the solar energy budget and are often touted as a possible answer to the coronal heating mystery. And nanoflares are mysterious - Due to their individually low energy, they're not possible to observe directly. My work involves statistical studies of quiet stellar (and sometimes solar) data, to extract any underlying signal due to the multitude of nanoflares therein. These signals can then be compared to simulations, to try and constrain the nanoflaring parameters in the sun and in other stars. I also adapt these techniques to analyse and enhance low-intensity signals for use in bio-marker imaging applications with Randox Laboratories. These techniques are explained in more detail in the publications Jess et al (2019) and Dillon et al (2020)

I really enjoy getting to develop data analysis code, especially at the intersection of industrial and academic applications. I enjoy playing around with computers in my spare time, and writing bits of code to automate or speed up tasks.

Outside of work, I can usually be found reading. You can check out my goodreads to see what I've been up to.