The education and friendship with faculty in the physics department have had a profound and lasting influence on my life. The professors care about their students.
Wes Baily, alumnus
Stephen Alexander Faculty Profile »



Research Area:

Computational Planetary Dynamics





My students and I perform numerical simulations with gravitational N-body codes to study a wide variety of problems in astrophysics. These have included the middle and late stages of planetary formation, problems associated with the formation of Uranus and Neptune, the rotational evolution of asteroids and planetary satellites, and the orbital evolution of extrasolar systems. Recently, we have adapted our simulation to study other gravitationally bound systems such as stellar clusters.



Last four Masters theses:


“An Application of N-Body Simulation to the Rotational Motion of Solar System Bodies,” Tiandan Wu, August 2008.


“General Relativity Effects for Extrasolar Systems with close in Gas Giants,” Sandipan Basu, August 2008.


“Formation of a Globular Cluster via Gravitational Capture,” Jeremy D. Hohertz, August 2008.


“Survivability of Planetary Satellites During Uranus-Neptune Ejection,” N. H. Selan, December 2008.