Alexander Hubbard


Ph.D. in Astronomy, University of Rochester 2008

B.A. in Physics, Mathematics and History, Cornell University 2000

Research Interests

Dr. Hubbard studies planet formation and protoplanetary disks, the large swirling disks of gas and dust orbiting young stars in which planets form.  In particular, he focusses on the growth of dust from sub-micron interstellar grains to pebbles large enough and concentrated that gravity can collect them into planetesimals.  Recently, he has been studying the Short Circuit instability, where electrical currents in protoplanetary disks ionize their own paths leading to violent heating events similar to both ordinary short circuits and terrestrial lightning.  These events may explain chondrules, melted glassy beads found in meteorites.  He is also studying how dust grains collide and stick in the turbulent flows.