Nevin Weinberg joined the MIT Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in September 2011. He grew up in the suburbs of NYC, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 2000 and his Ph.D. from Caltech in 2005. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics from 2005-06 and at the University of California, Berkeley from 2006-11.
Professor Weinberg is an astrophysics theorist whose research interests include compact objects, binary evolution, stellar oscillations, and explosive thermonuclear burning. His current research focuses on short period binary systems, including stellar binaries, planetary systems (e.g., hot Jupiters), and compact object binaries. He is particularly interested in understanding how the strong tides in these systems influence their evolution. The next decade promises to be very exciting for the field of binary stellar systems. With the first detection of gravitational-waves from the merger of a binary neutron star by LIGO and Virgo, we have entered a fantastic new era of gravitational-wave astronomy and neutron star astrophysics. Tides may leave an imprint on the gravitational wave signal that will encode information about the structure of these enigmatic objects. Space missions such as Kepler, and now TESS, reveal a wealth of information about close stellar and planetary binaries including transiting planets, tidal dynamics, and asteroseismology. Weinberg also studies thermonuclear explosions on the surfaces of accreting neutron stars and white dwarfs. By understanding the nature of these explosions, we can learn about the structure, composition, and evolution of these objects. Upcoming transient surveys such as LSST will likely discover entirely new classes of explosions from accreting and merging binary systems.