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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Duncan Brown

Brown portrait

Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics


263-1 Physics Building


Research Spotlight


2004 Doctor of Philosophy in Physics
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1999 Master of Mathematics
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

News Articles

Physicist Awarded NSF Grant for Gravitational Wave Research

(June 12, 2020)

Using observations of neutron star collisions, Professor Duncan Brown will study the nature of matter.

Physicists Usher in 'Golden' Age of Astronomy

(Oct. 16, 2017)

Professors Saulson, Brown, Ballmer trace origins of gold and heavy metals to neutron star collisions

Physicists Relish Role in Nobel Prize-Winning Research

(Oct. 2, 2017)

Peter Saulson, Duncan Brown, and Stefan Ballmer played a lead role in the analysis of Gravitational wave signals as part of the multinational Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

Syracuse Alumnus Instrumental in LIGO's Third Detection of Gravitational Waves

(June 1, 2017)

Alex Nitz G'15 helped detect gravitational-wave signal with software he began developing at Syracuse

Duncan Brown to be Inducted as Inaugural Brightman Endowed Professor Oct. 20

(Oct. 13, 2016)

Physicist is leader in burgeoning field of gravitational-wave astronomy

Syracuse, Cal State Fullerton Awarded Grant to Enhance Diversity in Astrophysics

(Aug. 19, 2016)

Professors Duncan Brown, Stefan Ballmer use NSF grant to help recruit, train students from underrepresented groups

Syracuse University Helps Make History—Again

(June 15, 2016)

LIGO detects second pair of colliding black holes

Syracuse Physicists Among Recipients of Breakthrough, Gruber Prizes for Detection of Gravitational Waves

(May 25, 2016)

Gravitational Wave Group honored for contributions to physics, astronomy

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

(Feb. 11, 2016)

LIGO Opens New Window on the Universe with Observation of Gravitational Waves from Colliding Black Holes

LIGO: At a Glance

(Feb. 11, 2016)

Everything you need to know about the "Theory of Everything"

Syracuse University Makes History

(Feb. 11, 2016)

Finding coincides with 100th anniversary of Einstein's Theory of Relativity (VIDEO)

Syracuse Physicist Named Brightman Endowed Professor

(Jan. 8, 2016)

Duncan Brown lauded for excellence in gravitational wave astronomy

Syracuse Advances Search for Gravitational Waves

(Sept. 17, 2015)

Physicists participate in first run of new Advanced LIGO Detector, after five-year rebuild

University Integral to Advanced LIGO Success

(May 27, 2015)

Physics department has been leading the search for gravitational waves for more than 25 years

Research Interests

  • Gravitational-wave astronomy and astrophysics.
  • Searching for gravitational waves from compact binary coalesence in data from the LIGO and VIRGO observatories.
  • Numerical relativity and its implications for gravitational wave detection.
  • Third-generation gravitational-wave detectors.
  • High-performance computing

Awards & Professional Honors

  • Research Corporation Scialog Fellow, 2015
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2014
  • Cottrell Scholar, 2010
  • Syracuse University Meredith Teaching Recognition Award, 2010
  • Kavli Frontiers Fellow, 2009
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2008

Selected Publications

  • Soares Santos M et al., The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/Virgo GW170817. I. Dark Energy Camera Discovery of the Optical Counterpart, Astrophys J 848 L16 (2017)
  • Cowperthwaite P S et al., The Electromagnetic Counterpart of the Binary Neutron Star Merger LIGO/VIRGO GW170817. II. UV, Optical, and Near-IR Light Curves and Comparison to Kilonova Models, Astrophys J 848 L17 (2017)
  • Abbott B P et al., Multi-messenger Observations of a Binary Neutron Star Merger, Astrophys J 848 L12 (2017)
  • Abbott B P et al., Gravitational Waves and Gamma-rays from a Binary Neutron Star Merger: GW170817 and GRB 170817A, Astrophys J 848 L13 (2017)
  • Abbott Benjamin P et al., GW170817: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Neutron Star Inspiral, Phys Rev Lett 119 161101 (2017)
  • Abbott Benjamin P et al., GW170814: A Three-Detector Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Coalescence, Phys Rev Lett 119 141101 (2017)
  • Abbott Benjamin P et al., GW170104: Observation of a 50-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence at Redshift 0.2, Phys Rev Lett 118 221101 (2017)
  • Abbott Benjamin P et al., The basic physics of the binary black hole merger GW150914, Annalen Phys (2016)
  • Abbott B P et al., GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence, Phys Rev Lett 116 241103 (2016)
  • Abbott B P et al., GW150914: First results from the search for binary black hole coalescence with Advanced LIGO, Phys Rev D93 122003 (2016)
  • Abbott B P et al., Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger, Phys Rev Lett 116 061102 (2016)
  • Hannam Mark, Brown Duncan A, Fairhurst Stephen, Fryer Chris L, and Harry Ian W, When can gravitational-wave observations distinguish between black holes and neutron stars?, AstrophysJ 766 L14 (2013)