Introducing Robert Penna, Pappalardo Postdoctoral Fellow

Thursday, September 5, 2013
by Debbie Meinbresse,


Bob Penna completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University with advisor Ramesh Narayan. He studied math and physics at the University of Rochester and completed Part III maths at the University of Cambridge. He is from Eden, NY.

Bob is interested in general relativity, magnetohydrodynamics, and their astrophysical applications. He has studied the accretion of turbulent, magnetized gas onto spinning black holes, and investigated how the accretion flow’s luminosity depends on black hole spin, gas temperature, magnetic field topology, and other variables. This work provides theoretical support for black hole spin measurements. He has also studied black hole jet formation.  Currently, Bob is interested in using astrophysics to test new ideas about black holes and general relativity.

The MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics was made possible by the encouragement and generosity of Mr. A. Neil Pappalardo (EE ’64), an MIT alumnus with a long history of generosity to both the Institute and the Department of Physics.

[See Bob’s MKI landing page for additional information, including representative publications.]