|Left image: This artist’s concept shows the dimmest star-like bodies currently known — twin brown dwarfs referred to as 2M 0939. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Middle photo: Adam Burgasser, UC San Diego Physics Professor and an observational astrophysicist. Right image: 2MASS images courtesy of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. Artist’s rendition by Dr. Robert Hurt of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. (Click on left and right images for more information.)
Adam Burgasser is a Professor of Physics at UC San Diego and an observational astrophysicist, investigating the lowest-mass stars, cool brown dwarfs, and extrasolar planets. He uses ground-based and space-based telescopes to study the physical properties and processes of these objects, and is particularly interested in spectroscopic investigations that probe weather, multiplicity and magnetic activity. He is best known for defining the T spectral class, and was recently part of the team that discovered three Earth-sized planets around the nearby cool M star TRAPPIST-1. He has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-review publications in the field. Adam is also an artist who explores trans-sensory perception, embodied computation, and data-driven art production, and incorporates these practices into his teaching and outreach work through programs such as cosmOcosm, Beach Physics and Embodied Physics. He also works to improve the inclusion and equity of underrepresented minorities in the physical sciences. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Adam earned his Bachelor’s in Physics at UC San Diego in 1996, and his Master’s and PhD in Physics with an emphasis in Planetary Science from Caltech in 2001. He was a Hubble and Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellow, an NCAA Division 3 National Champion in springboard diving and Top 8 Scholar Athlete, and has received awards for distinguished teaching and contributions toward diversity at UC San Diego. In his spare time (when?) he enjoys surfing, traveling and chocolate chip cookies.