I am a Member and Hubble fellow in the astrophysics group of the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. My research is currently mostly focused on understanding the formation and evolution of the Milky Way, but I work on a variety of problems in astrophysics.
Recent research highlights
- Discovered that the Milky Way disk's vertical structure is very different from what was previously thought: By separating disk populations by their chemical signatures, we have shown that there is a continuous range of disk thicknesses present. Most of the stellar mass is in the thinnest components, with a smaller amount of mass in the thicker components (see figure below). This is in contrast with the previous picture where the vertical structure was characterized by a "thin" and a "thick" component,
(figure from: Astrophys. J. 751, 131 (2012) [link])
- Direct observation of the inside-out growth of the Milky Way's disk
(paper: Astrophys. J. in press, (2012) [link])
- Developed the XDQSO technique used to discover more than 70,000 quasars (and counting) as part of SDSS-III's BOSS; this sample includes the largest homogeneously selected sample of quasars with redshift ≥ 2.2 [link]
- Showed that data from Moni Bidin et al. (2012) imply a local dark matter density near the Sun of 0.3 ± 0.1 GeV cm-3, in contrast with previous claims.
Press: [New Scientist]
(paper: Astrophys. J. submitted, (2012) [link])
email: bovy [at] ias [dot] edu
Institute for Advanced Study
School of Natural Sciences
Princeton, NJ 08540