Research

I've been fortunate enough to be able to work on three unrelated subjects, which has given me a wide range of skills and knowledge. Here's a brief description of my research, followed by a publication list.


Physical Oceanography

My PhD research at McGill focusses on the interaction between slow, geostrophically balanced motion and fast, unbalanced near-inertial motion in the ocean. Usually, it's assumed that fast motion has no (or very little) influence on the evolution of slow, geostrophic dynamics, which typically dominate spatially large-scale oceanographic flows, but this is not always the case. When the fast motion is directly forced by (say) high frequency winds, the near-inertial motion can drain energy from the geostrphic component of the total flow. My research involves using a primitive equations circulation model (POP) to examine this type of interaction. Image is a detail of the water's speed at the surface from a typical run.


Applied Physics
Alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer

Between my MSc and my PhD work, I worked in one of the research group behind the alpha-particle x-ray spectrometer, or APXS, on three Martian rovers (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity). The APXS uses alpha and gamma radiation to give an in-situ analysis of rocks and soils, and is a workhorse of all three rovers. As well as doing some number crunching of geochemistry data from Spirit and Opportunity, I built a Monte Carlo simulation that accurately calculates the efficiency of a semi-conductor detector with one or more off-centre sources. Image of the APXS instrument via JPL.


Gravitational Physics

My MSc research at the University of Guelph involved a describing a non rotating, uncharged black hole immersed in an arbitrary tidal environment. The black hole can be described by both a perturbed Schwarzschild metric and by a post-Newtonian metric involving two tensors that describe the black hole's perturbation in response to the tidal environment. The two metrics are asymptotically matched to calculate the general form of the two tidal tensors. These tensors can then be used to compute a variety of quantities for specific systems, including (notably) the tidal heating. Image is a detail from Figure 3.1 of my thesis.


Publications
Taylor, Stephanne and D.N. Straub. Forced near-inertial motion and dissipation of low frequency kinetic energy in a wind-driven channel flow. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 2016, 46:79-93. [JPO][local]

Campbell, J.L., J.A. Maxwell, S.M. Andrushenko, S.M. Taylor, B.N. Jones, and W. Brown-Bury. A GUPIX-based approach to interpreting the PIXE-plus-XRF spectra from the Mars exploration rovers: I homogeneous standards. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B. 2011, 269:57-68 [NIMB][local]

Campbell, J.L., A.M. McDonald, G.M. Perrett, and S.M. Taylor. A GUPIX-based approach to interpreting the PIXE-plus-XRF spectra from the Mars exploration rovers: II geochemical reference materials. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B. 2011, 269:69-81 [NIMB][local]

Taylor, S.M., S.M. Andrushenko, J.M. O'Meara, and J.L. Campbell. A versatile Monte Carlo package for computation of efficiencies of Si(Li), SDD, and Ge detectors. Journal of X-ray Spectrometry. 2010, 39:191-201 [XRS][local]

Campbell, J.L, S.M. Andrushenko, S.M. Taylor, and J.A. Maxwell. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover α-particle X-ray spectrometer II: Analysis of unknown samples. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2010, 115: E04009 [JGR][local]

Campbell, J.L., M. Lee, B.N. Jones, S.M. Andrushenko, N.G. Holmes, J.A. Maxwell, and S.M.Taylor. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover α - particle X-ray spectrometer. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, 114: E04006 [JGR][local]

Taylor, Stephanne and Poisson, Eric. (2008) Non-rotating black hole in a post-Newtonian tidal environment. Physical Review D. 2008, 78:084016. [PRD][ArXiv][local]