Benjamin C. Bromley

Professor, Physics and Astronomy

218 INSCC • 801-581-8227 • bromley@physics


Welcome to my webpage, hosted by the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah. I am a Professor, working in theoretical and computational astrophysics, with focus on planet formation, galactic dynamics, as well as some relativistic astrophysics. Here you will find information about my research, recent courses, and other things that I do at The U.

For my Faculty Activity Report (FAR) information, please use this link.

  Origin of Pluto's moons, Scott Kenyon's page on Pluto's low mass satellites (also see our manuscript about Pluto-Charon, and this animated "drive-thru" of the PC system).
  Black holes! How to grow a supermassive black hole plus simulations of glowing gas near a black hole horizon.
  Flyby. The sun might have captured planets from a passing star. Animations that Scott Kenyon and I did (like THIS ONE!) show how this could happen.



◊  Planet formation

Scott Kenyon and I have developed a code to simulate the formation of planets. This longterm project has enabled us to understand how rocky (Earth), gaseous (Jupiter) and icy (Pluto) planets grow. Check out this MPEG animation of a planet moving through a disk of smaller planetesimals. The movie illustrates how planets can migrate toward their host star, a phenomenon that may affect the formation of planets like Earth--and not necessarily in a good way!

◊  Hypervelocity stars

Warren Brown, Margaret Geller, Scott Kenyon, and I study the origin of hypervelocity stars, which travel through the Galaxy at speeds up to 800 km/s. They likely started out as members of binary stars in the center of the Galaxy, and got flung out when they strayed too close to the Galaxy's supermassive black hole. Their binary partners got trapped by the black hole and may eventually get consumed by it.

◊  Relativistic astrophysics

Hot, glowing gas flowing near a black hole can serve as a diagnostic of the physics of strongly curved spacetime. I have worked to predict the radiation from this gas in radio waves and X-rays.

For more details, other research interests, and references, please try this link.



Astronomy Task Force
Utah Astronomy Group (Physics & Astronomy)
Director of Graduate Studies
(2005–2007; 2010–2012)   
Physics DoGS
Graduate Council (2011–2014)     The Graduate School
Undergraduate Council
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Misc. Committees
Admissions, Advising, Curriculum, ..., Policy Board, ...
(Physics & Astronomy)
Referee/reviewer Funding: DFG, NSF, NASA; Journals: Astrophys. J., Astron. J., MNRAS, Nature.