Kyle Dettman

Graduate Research Assistant, Rutgers University.

About Me

I am a PhD candidate at Rutgers University studying under Dr. Saurabh Jha. I study the explosive deaths of old stars, Type Ia Supernovae, and how they can better help us study our Universe. To learn more about what I do please see the research section.


My research focuses on using Type Ia supernova to make various cosmological measurements and how we can improve them.

  • Supernova 1994D

    Type Ia Supernovae

    Type Ia Supernovae (SNIa) are Carbon/Oxygen white dwarf stars that have experienced a thermonuclear explosion. These celestial fireworks are incredibily bright, often outshining their host galaxy, and because of this, we can see them from very far away. In a useful quirk of nature, each explosion is very similar and it is possible to standardize them to a set luminosity and thus, very precise distances can be calculated. SNIa have been used to great effect in the astronomical community, most famously winning the Nobel Prize in 2011 for discovering the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe.

  • Foundation Supernova Survey

    Recent advances in robotic telescopes has allowed all-sky surveys to identify hundreds of nearby supernovae each year. Using the Pan-STARRS telescope, the Foundation team has observed a few hundred of these objects on a single photometric system, effectively reducing both the systematic and statistical uncertainty of the low-z Hubble Diagram. As a member of this survey, my primary contributions included collecting and organizing spectral data and determing previously unknown redshifts to host galaxies. These redshifts are of vital importance as they necessary to determine the Hubble Parameter.

  • SNIa Velocities

    Multiple measurable quantities are used to standardize the lightcurves of SNIa, but almost all of these are based on photometry. I look into other possible correlations that use the spectrum of the supernova. Specifically, based on the previous works of Wang et al. 2009 and Foley et al. 2011, I look at how the intrinsic color of supernovae is affected by its velocity. My results in this field will be published soon.


First Author Publications

  • Dettman et al. 2020 (in prep.)

Select Co-Author Publications

  • Foundation Supernova Survey. 2018. Foley, R. J., Scolnic, D., Rest, A., Jha, S. W., Pan, Y.-C., Riess, A. G., Challis, P., Chambers, K. C., Coulter, D. A., Dettman, K. G., Foley, M. M., Fox, O. D., Huber, M. E., Jones, D. O., Kilpatrick, C. D., Kirshner, R. P., Schultz, A. S. B., Siebert, M. R., Flewelling, H. A., Gibson, B., Magnier, E. A., Miller, J. A., Primak, N., Smartt, S. J., Smith, K. W., Wainscoat, R. J., Waters, C., Willman, M.
  • Kepler Monitoring of an L Dwarf. II. Clouds with Multi-year Lifetimes 2015. Gizis, J. E., Dettman, K. G., Burgasser, A. J., Camnasio, S., Alam, M., Filippazzo, J. C., Cruz, K. L., Metchev, S., Berger, E., Williams, P. K. G.


I am currently not teaching, though here are a list of course I have taught in the past, in additional to tutoring on a case-by-case basis:

  • PHYS 123: Analytical Physics A (Rutgers Fall 2016, 2017, Course Assistant)
  • PHYS 124: Analytical Physics B (Rutgers Spring 2017, 2018, Course Assistant)
  • PHYS 204: General Physics (Rutgers Fall 2016)

Contact Me

If you would like to reach me feel free to stop by my office located on the Busch Campus of Rutgers or email me.