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Physics Faculty

Manfred Cuntz Dr. Manfred Cuntz
Professor of Physics
PhD, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Email: cuntz@uta.edu
Location: Room 330 CPB
Phone: 817-272-2467




RESEARCH INTERESTS 

Solar and Stellar Physics, Magnetohydrodynamics, Stellar Surface Structure, Extra-Solar Planets, Stellar Habitable Zones and Astrobiology, Observational Programs, Future NASA Missions

Research


  1. Solar and Stellar Physics
  2. Extra-Solar Planets and Habitable Zones
  3. Astrobiology
  4. Observational Programs
  5. Future NASA Missions

Teaching & Courses | Selected Recent Publications | Other Professional Activities | News and Announcements

Teaching

    I have several years of teaching experience in Physics and Astronomy both at the graduate and undergraduate level.
I started my teaching career in 1995 at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. There I had been awarded the Habilitation, a degree beyond the Ph.D. within the German academic system. The Habilitation includes a teaching certificate for Physics and Astronomy that is recognized in Germany as well as several other European countries. Thereafter, I gained teaching experience at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where I taught various classes in mathematical methods and astrophysics to graduate students of science and engineering. Here at UTA I often teach very large classes of Introductory Astronomy I and II, as well as other classes including Astrophysics and Introductory Physics.
In Fall 2003, I started to teach a class in Astrobiology, which is offered within a 3 semester cycle, and is cross-listed between the Department of Physics, Department of Biology, and Department of Geology. This class has an interdisciplinary focus, as it discusses the possibility of life in the Universe considering new findings from terrestrial microbiology as well as stellar and planetary astrophysics, including results from former and ongoing NASA missions. I also taught graduate courses, especially Mathematical Methods. I am furthermore very interested in public outreach programs, science education, and contributions to the new UTA planetarium.
My philosophy of teaching is quite simple: I would like to inspire students and transfer knowledge at the same time!
I would like to make students comfortable asking question and making the "classroom experience" fun, fun, fun. I like to use hands-on examples and also incorporate knowledge the students already possess in the teaching endeavor. I like to take away math anxiety in classes offered to non-science majors, and always commit ample time for helping students to prepare for tests and the final. This is being done through question and answer sessions, quizzes and practice tests. Last but not least, I like to keep an open door for students with questions and concerns to help them to be or to become successful.

Courses

Courses Taught

  • PHYS 1441 General College Physics I
  • PHYS 1442 General College Physics II
  • PHYS 1445 Introductory Astronomy I
  • PHYS 1446 Introductory Astronomy II
  • PHYS 2315 Introductory Astrophysics
  • PHYS 3315 Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • PHYS 3316 Astrobiology
  • PHYS 5312 Mathematical Methods II (graduate level)
  • PHYS 5305 Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics (graduate level)
  • PHYS 5391 Astrophysics (graduate level)
  • PHYS 5391 Astrobiology (graduate level)

Courses Developed

  • PHYS 2315 Introductory Astrophysics
  • PHYS 3316 Astrobiology
  • PHYS 5391 Astrophysics (graduate level)
  • PHYS 5391 Astrobiology (graduate level)

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Selected Recent Publications

"S-Type and P-Type Habitability in Stellar Binary Systems: A Comprehensive Approach. I. Methods and Applications", Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 780, 14 (19 pages) (2014)

"On the Possibility of Habitable Moons in the System of HD 23079: Results from Orbital Stability Studies", Cuntz, M., Quarles, B., Eberle, J., and Shukayr, A., Publ. Astron. Soc. Australia, 30, e033 (11 pages) (2013) - REPRINT

"Solar Magnetic Flux Tube Simulations with Time-dependent Ionization", Fawzy, D. E., Cuntz, M., and Rammacher, W., Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 426, 1916-1927 (2012)

"Application of the Titius-Bode Rule to the 55 Cancri System: Tentative Prediction of a Possibly Habitable Planet", Cuntz, M., Publ. Astron. Soc. Japan, 64, 73 (10 pages) (2012)

"Study of Resonances for the Restricted 3-Body Problem", Quarles, B., Musielak, Z. E., and Cuntz, M., Astron. Notes, 333, 551-560 (2012)

"Planet-induced Emission Enhancements in HD 179949: Results from McDonald Observations", Gurdemir, L., Redfield, S., and Cuntz, M., Publ. Astron. Soc. Australia, 29, 141-149 (2012)

"Habitability of Earth-mass Planets and Moons in the Kepler-16 System", Quarles, B., Musielak, Z. E., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 750, A14 (5 pages) (2012)

"Basal Chromospheric Flux and Maunder Minimum-type Stars: The quiet-Sun Chromosphere as a Universal Phenomenon", Schröder, K.-P., Mittag, M., Perez Martinez, M. I., Cuntz, M., and Schmitt, J. H. M. M., Astron. and Astrophys., 540, A130 (5 pages) (2012)

"The Stability of the Suggested Planet in the ν Octantis System: A Numerical and Statistical Study", Quarles, B., Cuntz, M., and Musielak, Z. E., Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 421, 2930-2939 (2012)

"Habitability of super-Earth Planets Around Main-Sequence Stars Including Red Giant Branch Evolution: Models Based on the Integrated System Approach", Cuntz, M., von Bloh, W., Schröder, K.-P., Bounama, C., and Franck, S., Internat. J. Astrobiology, 11, 15-23 (2012)

"Case Studies of Habitable Trojan Planets in the System of HD 23079", Eberle, J., Cuntz, M., Quarles, B., and Musielak, Z. E., Internat. J. Astrobiology, 10, 325-334 (2011)

"The Instability Transition for the Restricted 3-Body Problem. III. The Lyapunov Exponent Criterion", Quarles, B., Eberle, J., Musielak, Z. E., and Cuntz, M., Astron. and Astrophysics., 533, A2 (9 pages) (2011)

"The Basal Chromospheric Mg II h+k Flux of Evolved Stars: Probing the Energy Reservoir of Giant Chromospheres", Perez Martinez, M. I., Schröder, K.-P., and Cuntz, M., Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc., 414, 418-427 (2011)

"Habitability of the Goldilocks Planet Gliese 581g: Results from Geodynamic Models", Von Bloh, W., Cuntz, M., Franck, S., and Bounama, C., Astron. and Astrophys., 528, A133 (4 pages) (2011)

"Generation of Longitudinal Flux Tube Waves in Theoretical Main-Sequence Stars: Effects of Model Parameters", Fawzy, D. E. and Cuntz, M., Astron. and Astrophys., 526, A91 (8 pages) (2011)

"On the Ejection of Earth-Mass Planets from the Habitable Zones of the Solar Twins HD 20782 and HD 188015", Yeager, K. E., Eberle, J., and Cuntz, M., Internat. J. Astrobiology, 10, 1-13 (2011)

"The Advection of Supergranules by the Sun's Axisymmetric Flows", Hathaway, D. H., Williams, P. E., Dela Rosa, K., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 725, 1082-1090 (2010)

"On the Reality of the Suggested Planet in the ν Octantis System", Eberle, J. and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J. Lett., 721, L168-L171 (2010)

"The Instability Transition for the Restricted 3-Body Problem. II. The Hodograph Eccentricity Criterion", Eberle, J. and Cuntz, M., Astron. and Astrophys., 514, A19 (8 pages) (2010)

"Biological Damage due to Photospheric, Chromospheric and Flare Radiation in the Environments of Main-Sequence Stars", Cuntz, M., Guinan, E. F., and Kurucz, R. L., in: Solar and Stellar Variability: Impact on Earth and Planets, IAU Symposium 264, eds. A. G. Kosovichev, A. H. Andrei, and J.-P. Rozelot (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 419-426 (2010)

"The Great Oxidation of Earth's Atmosphere: Contesting the Yoyo Model via Transition Stability Analysis", Cuntz, M., Roy, D., and Musielak, Z. E., Astrophys. J. Lett., 706, L178-L182 (2009)

"A Method for the Treatment of Supergranulation Advection by Giant Cells", Williams, P. E. and Cuntz, M., Astron. and Astrophys., 505, 1265-1268 (2009)

"Habitability of Super-Earth Planets Around Other Suns: Models Including Red Giant Branch Evolution", Von Bloh, W., Cuntz, M., Schröder, K.-P., Bounama, C., and Franck, S., Astrobiology, 9, 593-602 (2009)

"On the Validity of the 'Hill Radius Criterion' for the Ejection of Planets from Stellar Habitable Zones", Cuntz, M. and Yeager, K. E., Astrophys. J. Lett., 697, L86-L90 (2009)

"The Instability Transition for the Restricted 3-Body Problem. I. Theoretical Approach", Eberle, J., Cuntz, M., and Musielak, Z. E., Astron. and Astrophys., 489, 1329-1335 (2008)

"The Habitability of Super-Earths in Gliese 581", von Bloh, W., Bounama, C., Cuntz, M., and Franck, S., Astron. and Astrophys., 476, 1365-1371 (2007)

"Stringent Criteria for Stable and Unstable Planetary Orbits in Stellar Binary Systems", Cuntz, M., Eberle, J., and Musielak, Z. E., Astrophys. J. Lett., 669, L105-L108 (2007)

"Solar Rossby Wave 'Hills' Identified as Supergranules", Williams, P. E., Hathaway, D. H., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J. Lett., 662, L135-L138 (2007)

"A Critical Test of Empirical Mass Loss Formulas Applied to Individual Giants and Supergiants", Schröder, K.-P. and Cuntz, M., Astron. and Astrophys., 465, 593-601 (2007)

"Acoustic Heating of the Solar Chromosphere: Present Indeed and Locally Dominant", Cuntz, M., Rammacher, W., and Musielak, Z. E., Astrophys. J. Lett., 657, L57-L60 (2007)

"Supergranule Superrotation Identified as a Projection Effect", Hathaway, D. H., Williams, P. E., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 644, 598-602 (2006)

 

Previous Publications of Special Significance

"A New Version of Reimers' Law of Mass Loss Based on a Physical Approach", Schröder, K.-P. and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J. Lett., 630, L73-L76 (2005)

"Stability of Planetary Orbits in Binary Systems", Musielak, Z. E., Cuntz, M., Marshall, E. A., and Stuit, T. D., Astron. and Astrophys., 434, 355-364 (2005)

"On the Possibility of Earth-Type Habitable Planets in the 55 Cancri System", Von Bloh, W., Cuntz, M., Franck, S., and Bounama, C., Astrobiology, 3, 681-688 (2003)

"The Habitable Zone of Earth-Mass Planets Around 47 UMa: Results for Land and Water Worlds", Franck, S., Cuntz, M., von Bloh, W., and Bounama, C., Intern. J. Astrobiology, 2, 35-39 (2003)

"On the Possibility of Earth-Type Habitable Planets Around 47 UMa", Cuntz, M., von Bloh, W., Bounama, C., and Franck, S., Icarus, 162, 214-221 (2003)

"Orbital Stability of Terrestrial Planets inside the Habitable Zones of Extrasolar Planetary Systems", Noble, M., Musielak, Z. E., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 572, 1024-1030 (2002)

"On Stellar Activity Enhancement due to Interactions with Extrasolar Giant Planets", Cuntz, M., Saar, S. H., and Musielak, Z. E., Astrophys. J. Lett., 533, L151-L154 (2000)

"Basal Heating in Main-Sequence Stars and Giants: Results from Monochromatic Acoustic Wave Models", Buchholz, B., Ulmschneider, P., and Cuntz, M., Astrophys. J., 494, 700-714 (1998)

For complete list click here (Last Update: April 18, 2012)

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Other Professional Activities

2012
Development of online course "Astrobiology"

2010
News Article in Astrobiology Magazine and Welt der Physik on research results in Astrophysics, published here, about the possible existence of a planet in a retrograde orbit in the ν Octantis binary system.

2008-2010
Principal Investigator on the development of the UTA Planetarium Show "Magnificent Sun"

2008
Publication of PRACTICAL UNIVERSE: OBSERVATIONS, EXPERIMENTS, EXERCISES
(together with Nilakshi Veerabathina and Levent Gurdemir), Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company

2007-2009
Principal Investigator on the development of the UTA Planetarium Show "Unseen Universe: The Vision of SOFIA"

2007
News Article in Nature on research results in Astrobiology, published here, that discuss the first (possibly) habitable planet (the super-Earth Gliese 581d) outside the Solar System. This result was also featured by the NEW YORK TIMES.

2006-2007
Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Science, UTA

2006-2007
Principal Investigator on the development of the UTA Planetarium Show "Cosmic CSI: Looking for Life in the Universe"

2004-present
Stellar Imager (SI) Science Advisory Team

2004-present
NASA Peer Review Panels

2004
News Article in Science, Astrobiology Magazine and NASA News on planet-induced stellar activity observed by E. Shkolnik, Univ. of British Columbia, and previously predicted by Cuntz, Saar, and Musielak (2000). This result was also featured by CNN, USA TODAY, NEW YORK TIMES and DER SPIEGEL.

2003
News Article in Nature on research results in Astrobiology, published here and here, that discuss the possibility of an habitable Earth-type planet around 47 UMa.

2002
Research Enhancement Program, College of Science, UTA

2001-2002
Outstanding Research Award, College of Science, UTA

1999-2000
Member of the MAXIM Working Group, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

1999
Co-Organizer of a Topical Discussion Session at the 11th Cool Star Workshop, Tenerife/Canary Islands, Spain

1997-2000
Member of the Huntsville Solar Group, University of Alabama in Huntsville and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

1995
Habilitation, University of Heidelberg, Germany

1992-1994
Advanced Study Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)



Memberships

International Astronomical Union (IAU)
Commission 36: Theory of Stellar Atmospheres
Commission 51: Bioastronomy: Search for Extraterrestrial Life

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

German Astronomical Society (AstrG)

German Physical Society (DPG)

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News and Announcements

Research Magazine UTA, Fall 2005 "The Science of Space"

Information McDonald Observatory, Nov. 2005 "Searching for Spotted Stars"

Press Releases


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