Natalie Webb




I am an astrophysicist at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie. My main interest is in multi-wavelength observations of compact objects (black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs) with an aim to understanding their nature, i.e. their masses, radii, composition, magnetic fields and the origin of the emission that we observe from them. This in turn allows us to understand, for example, the nature of the interiors of neutron stars which are composed of material denser than the equilibrium density of nuclear matter, or how very high energy particles can be accelerated in the neutron star magnetosphere. I have primarily focussed on compact objects in binary systems, where the two components orbit their common centre of mass but also studied the effect that these systems can have on the evolution of globular clusters. Much of my recent research has concentrated on the enigmatic ultra luminous X-ray sources (ULXs), which are also compact objects often accreting matter at high rates, and intermediate mass black holes.

In addition to my research, I am also responsible for the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre, a consortium of 10 European institutes chosen by ESA to produce software and pipelines for reducing the XMM-Newton data, as well to produce catalogues of the sources detected with the different instruments on board. I also teach physics, astrophysics and scientific English at the Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse III) and I am responsible for the second year masters course Astrophysique, Sciences de l'Espace, Planétologie (ASEP). I am also currently head of the Galaxies, High Energy and Cosmology (GAHEC) department.