Ben Bromley

Professor, Physics and Astronomy
801-581-8227 • bromley@physics


Welcome! to my webpage, hosted by the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah. I am a Professor, working in theoretical and computational astrophysics, with focus on planet formation, galactic dynamics, as well as some relativistic astrophysics. Here you will find information about my research, recent courses, and other things that I do at The U.



   Highlights and animations

       Dust as a solar shield. Sameer Khan, Scott Kenyon, and I explored the potential of using dust clouds or streams for slightly dimming the sun from Earth's perspective. Our work demonstrates that large amounts dust, comparable to the output of open pit mines here on Earth, could temporarily reduce the amount of solar radiation by a percent or so. Please check out our PLOS Climate article and the wide range of responses to our work.

     Origin of Pluto's moons. Our favorite binary planet, Pluto-Charon, has four moons -- Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra -- packed together on nearly perfect, "almost circular" orbits. Scott Kenyon and I have worked to understand how they formed. Please see our latest manuscript about Pluto-Charon, and this animated "drive-thru" of the PC system.
       Black holes and hypervelocity stars! Warren Brown, Margaret Geller, Scott Kenyon, and I study the origin of hypervelocity stars, which travel so fast that they are escaping our Galaxy. . Some may have started out as members of binary stars in the Galactic Center, and got flung out when they strayed too close to the Galaxy's supermassive black hole. What happens to the binary partner? Here's one idea....
     Flyby! The Sun might have captured planets from a passing star. Animations that Scott Kenyon and I made (like THIS ONE!) show how this could happen.



Executive Committee
Physics & Astronomy
Associate Chair
(2015-2016, 2019-present)    
Physics & Astronomy
Physics & Astronomy
Astronomy Task Force
(2011–2014; 2018-present)    
Utah Astronomy Group
Director of Graduate Studies
(2005–2007; 2010–2012)   
Physics & Astronomy
Graduate Council
The Graduate School
Undergraduate Council
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Misc. Committees
Admissions, Advising, Curriculum, ..., Policy Board, ...
(Physics & Astronomy)
Referee/reviewer Funding: DFG, NSF, NASA; Journals: Astrophys. J., Astron. J., MNRAS, A&A, Nature.