People in Physics by Topic

Space & the Universe


Interview with Astronaut Don Pettit

We talk to Don about scary moments in space, immigrating to Mars, human spaceflight and more.


Kelly Chipps

Nuclear physicist, Kelly Chipps (AKA Nuclear Kelly), understands just how difficult it is for some people to understand physicists, with her diverse background she is striving to make physics accessible to everyone.


Ben Van Dusen

What does one of the largest three-dimensional models of the solar system, Quantum Chaos in Nanoelectronics, the iPad, teaching and disc golf have in common? Besides varying from large to very small; from complicated computer technology to simple physics; from inside to outside and to far outside our Earth, these varied interests have found a friend in Ben Van Dusen.

Andrea Ghez

Andrea Ghez

There’s a great celestial chasm lurking at the heart of our galaxy, capable of swallowing anything that gets too close. It hides in plain sight, and its pull is strong enough to whip stars around like they were toys. Now a team at the University of California Los Angeles is methodologically peeling away its secrets. Meet Andrea Ghez, black hole hunter extraordinaire.


Peter Sorokin

Peter Sorokin invented the world's second and third lasers and pioneered the ability to build lasers in all colors of the rainbow. And if that wasn't enough for one man, he is using laser physics to explain the light from distant stars.


Major Matthew H. Briggs

Since earning my B.S. in Physics from the University of Alabama in 1997 I have committed the last 10 years as a pilot in the USAF.


Carol Paty

Hiking, camping, kayaking and snorkeling while traveling throughout the Czech Republic, Turkey, Austria, Hawaii, Greece, Wales, Wyoming, Scotland, and most recently Germany. This is the life of a space scientist... if your name is Carol Paty. She shows us that you don't need to stay at home to in order to study the solar system.


Vincent Rodgers

When Vincent Rodgers was six years old, he and his twin brother Victor got toy robots for Christmas. "The most fascinating thing about this," Rodgers recalls, “was a panel you could take off the side [so] you could actually see inside."


Jorge Pullin

Jorge Pullin has made a career of studying a weighty subject: gravity. He uses theories of gravity to predict what will happen when black holes collide.


Andrew Post-Zwicker

Andrew Post-Zwicker is absolutely fascinated by plasmas. He is shown here on a bad hair day (actually a demo with a van de graf generator).


Alex Szalay

"All my life, I've liked to take long shots," said Alex Szalay, a former rock star who studies astronomy at Johns Hopkins University.


Hakeem Oluseyi

Hakeem Oluseyi, an astrophysicist, inventor, educator, amateur voice-actor, and self-described “regular guy” from Mississippi, doesn’t remember exactly how he first became interested in science.


Lawrence Krauss

Krauss, a prolific author, works in a new field called “particle astrophysics” that examines the interactions of two size extremes - fundamental particles smaller than atoms, and the entire universe.


Kris Larsen

If you were to attend one of Kris Larsen’s classes, you might hear her describing the magnetic fields on the sun as a giant magnetic hernia. On another day, she might be comparing the shape of the universe to a Pringle’s potato chip.


Brian Greene

Brian Greene believes that he and a growing number of physicists have caught a glimpse of the answers to some of the deepest questions that physicists face today, and he wants to share them with you. Photo: Andrea Cross/WGBH-TV.


Manuela Campanelli

Physics is international. Look at the life of Manuela Campanelli, a physicist born in Switzerland, educated in Italy, who has worked in Germany and the United States and is married to a physicist from Argentina.


Jolie Cizewski

Cizewski grew up in Maryland. Her parents didn’t have high school diplomas. Her father earned a GED, and her mother, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, attended a high school that closed during World War II.

Jim Gates

Jim Gates

Sitting in Mr. Coney's physics class as a junior in a segregated high school, Jim Gates had an epiphany. Watching a ball roll down an inclined plane and learning that a simple equation could describe its motion, Jim Gates knew that he wanted to be a physicist.


Janet Conrad

“If you were to pick out the kid in the class who would be a physicist, you wouldn't pick me,” says Janet Conrad.


David Stevenson

Over a hundred years ago, French science fiction writer Jules Verne wrote a novel called Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which a team of explorers descends below the ground, deep inside the Earth. David Stevenson has thought of a way to someday make Verne’s dreams a reality. Maybe.


Steve Giddings

Gravity is very important to Steve Giddings – both when he is pondering its place in a unified theory of everything and when he is clinging to a sheer ice cliff in the course of one of his climbing excursions.


Allison Porter

Allison Porter breaks down many stereotypes. The 24-year-old Miss Washington 2004 graduated from Harvard in 2002 with a degree in astrophysics.


Catherine Asaro

Former physics professor Catherine Asaro is a rising star among science fiction authors. Her books range from ‘hard’ science fiction, with scientific plot devices and premises laid out in intricate detail, to softer science fiction novels that use futuristic technology as a kind of backdrop to character-driven plots.