Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Saul A. Teukolsky

Hans A. Bethe Professor of Physics and Astrophysics
Saul A. Teukolsky
Specialty Areas

Theoretical Astrophysics

Research Projects

Solving Einstein's Equations for Black Hole Mergers Using Supercomputers.

Numerical Relativity Group


Saul Teukolsky's major research interests include general relativity, relativistic astrophysics, and computational astrophysics. He is engaged in a long-term project to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity by computer. One of the ultimate goals of this project is to predict the gravitational waveform from coalescing black holes in binary orbit about each other. It is expected that such events will be among the first signals detected when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) comes into operation. This project uses large supercomputers all over the country, and is being carried out in collaboration with researchers at several other institutions.

Teukolsky's recent research has spanned many other topics in relativistic astrophysics. He has worked on naked singularities in general relativity; the properties of rapidly rotating neutron stars, including possible observational signatures in pulsars; exploding neutron stars; relativistic stellar dynamics; and planets around pulsars. Most of this work is done in collaboration with other members of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group, including graduate students.

Selected Publications


  • Black Hole-Neutron Star Mergers for 10 Solar Mass Black Holes. F. Foucart, M. D. Duez, L. E. Kidder, M. A. Scheel, B. Szilagyi and S. A. Teukolsky. Phys. Rev., D85, 044015 (2012).
  • Equation of State Effects in Black Hole-Neutron Star Mergers. M. D. Duez, F. Foucart, L. E. Kidder, C. D. Ott and S. A.  Teukolsky. Class. Quant. Grav., 27, 114106 (2010).
  • Spinning Down Newborn Neutron Stars: Nonlinear development of the R-Mode Instability. R. Bondarescu, S. A. Teukolsky and I. Wasserman. Phys. Rev., D79, 104003 (2009).
  • Initial Data for Black Hole-Neutron Star Binaries: A Flexible, High-Accuracy Spectral Method. F. Foucart, L. E. Kidder, H. P. Pfeiffer and S. A. Teukolsky. Phys. Rev., D77, 124051 (2008).
  • Evolving Compact Object Binaries in General Relativity Using Pseudospectral and Finite Difference Methods. M. D. Duez, F. Foucart, L. E. Kidder, H. P. Pfeiffer, M. A. Scheel and S. A. Teukolsky. Phys. Rev., D78, 104015 (2008).
  • Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing, W. H. Press, S. A. Teukolsky, W. T. Vetterling and B. P. Flannery (3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, New York 2007).
  • Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars: The Physics of Compact Objects, S. L. Shapiro and S. A. Teukolsky (John Wiley, New York 1983).