MITP Member


Research Interests

Fabio is a senior lecturer in the School of Physics. His work has focused on the application of differential geometry to physics,

including classical and quantum mechanics, general relativity and fluid dynamics. He has developed specialised high level

calculi for use on symplectic and contact manifolds, and has investigated the geometry of Riemannian spaces with neutral metrics.

Over the last decade, his attention turned increasingly to astrophysics. With colleagues and students, he has investigated

the braking index for pulsars, the implications of precession for pulsar timing measurements, the nature and origin

of timing noise in pulsars, theoretical models for glitches in neutron stars, pulsar magnetospheres, and of vortex structure

of the pulsar superfluid interior. He has worked on time-series analysis, has tested a variety of statistical models for period

searches and has developed a new method for using periodogram analysis for period identification in sparse and unevenly

spaced time series. Recently, he has turned his attention to the problem of identification of transients in radio data. His work

in stellar astrophysics focuses on convection in stars, perturbation of fluid flows using Lie derivatives and the exterior calculus,

the effects of tidal perturbations on pulsation frequencies in stars, and the effect of rotation on the shape of stellar surfaces,

on properties of stellar flows, on stellar pulsation frequencies, and on light curves. He and his students work closely with

Chris Engelbrecht, who runs an observational programme on pulsating stars.

Fabio is a member of the Royal Society of South Africa, the South African Institute of Physics and the American

Association of Physics Teachers. He has served as co-chairman of the Astrophysics and Space Science Specialist

Group of the South African Institute of Physics, and yearly teaches the Astrophysical Fluid Mechanics course for the

National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme.

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