NEVIN WEINBERG, Assistant Professor of Physics

Associate Professor of Physics

EMAIL: nevin@mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 452-5113

OFFICE: 37-626a

ASSISTANT: Thea Paneth (617) 253-3718


Area of Physics:

Astrophysics > Theoretical Astrophysics

Research Interests

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. Gravitational wave observatories such as LIGO and Virgo are expected to detect gravitational waves from the inspiral and merger of binary neutron stars. 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 have also been revealing 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.

Biographical Sketch

Nevin Weinberg joined the MIT Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in July 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.

Selected Publications

  • "Growth Rate of the Tidal p-Mode g-Mode Instability in Coalescing Binary Neutron Stars", N. N. Weinberg, ApJ, 819, 109 (2016)
  • "Orbital Decay of Hot Jupiters Due to Nonlinear Tidal Dissipation within Solar-type Hosts", R. Essick, N. N. Weinberg, ApJ, 816, 18 (2016)
  • "An Instability due to the Nonlinear Coupling of p-modes to g-modes: Implications for Coalescing Neutron Star Binaries", N. N. Weinberg, P. Arras, J. Burkart, ApJ, 769, 121 (2013)
  • "Nonlinear Tides in Close Binary Systems", N. N. Weinberg, P. Arras, E. Quataert, J. Burkart, ApJ, 751, 136 (2012)
  • "Evidence of heavy-element ashes in thermonuclear X-ray bursts with photospheric superexpansion", J. J. M. in't Zand, N. N. Weinberg, A&A, 520, 81 (2010)
  • "Non-linear saturation of g-modes in proto-neutron stars: quieting the acoustic engine", N. N. Weinberg, E. Quataert, MNRAS, 387, L64 (2008)
  • "Measuring Distance and Properties of the Milky Way's Central Supermassive Black Hole with Stellar Orbits", A. M. Ghez, S. Salim, N. Weinberg, J. Lu, et al., ApJ, 689, 1044 (2008)
  • "Exposing the Nuclear Burning Ashes of Radius Expansion Type I X-Ray Bursts", , N. N. Weinberg, L. Bildsten, H. Schatz, ApJ, 639, 1018 (2006)
  • "Stellar Dynamics at the Galactic Center with an Extremely Large Telescope", N. N. Weinberg, M. Milosavljevic, A. M. Ghez, ApJ, 622, 878 (2005)

Last updated on July 5, 2016 10:39 AM