Yifan Hong

Mathematica Summer Camp

Class of 2013


My name is Yifan Hong and I am going to be a junior at Campolindo High School. As a young child, I was interested in mathematics and physics because they explained everyday phenomenons very precisely. I have participated in various local competitions and even national ones like the Math Kangaroo, which put me into this program, and the AIME. I play the alto saxophone and the piano in different bands at school and I also enjoy swimming and tennis.

Project: Types of Star Deaths

The Demonstration I worked on simulates the collapse of three different types of stars when they run out of fuel. Stars that are up to 5 times the mass of the Sun blast their atmospheres into space and leave their cores behind, becoming dwarf stars. Stars that are 6 times to 15 times the mass of the Sun explode in a supernova when they run out of fuel and leave their cores behind, but the cores are too massive and collapse into an object the size of the Earth, held by the repelling force of neutrons. These objects are called pulsars or neutron stars because only neutrons are left behind. Stars that are over 15 times the mass of the Sun also explode in a supernova, but gravity overcomes the nuclear force between neutrons and the core collapses into a singularity.