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Adam Burgasser

Professor, Physics
Director of the Cool Star Lab

Office: SERF 340
Phone: (858) 822-6958

Related Websites

UCSD Cool Star Lab
Faculty profile page


A native of Buffalo, New York, Professor Adam Burgasser received his B.S. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics (with a special emphasis on Planetary Science) from the California Institute of Technology in 2001. His thesis research on the coldest known brown dwarfs (very low mass stars incapable of hydrogen fusion) led to the designation of a new stellar spectral class, the T dwarfs. He continues his observational work on low mass stars and brown dwarfs using facilities around the world, including UC's Lick and Keck Observatories. After working as a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and then as a Spitzer Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, Professor Burgasser joined the Physics faculty at MIT in July 2005, and then the UCSD Physics faculty in 2009. Professor Burgasser is a strong advocate for equity and inclusion in the physical sciences, and has served as chair of the American Astronomical Society Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy and currently serves as a campus LEAD Fellow and member of the UCSD Black Studies Executive Committee. In 2014, he was awarded the UCSD Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award and UCSD Outstanding Mentor Award. He currently serves as a AAS Vice President.

Research Interests

Observational astrophysics, focusing on very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs; low-temperature stellar and planetary atmospheres; stellar multiplicity; Galactic stellar populations; Physics & Astronomy education; Equity & Inclusion in the physical sciences

Select Publications

An eclipsing substellar binary in a young triple system discovered by SPECULOOS 2020, Nature Astronomy 4, 605
Triaud, A. H. M. J., Burgasser, A. J., Burdanov, A. et al.

Why I Teach Growth Mindset 2019, Nature Astronomy 3, 1038
Burgasser, A. J.

The Ultracool SpeXtroscopic Survey. I. Volume-limited Spectroscopic Sample and Luminosity Function of M7-L5 Ultracool Dwarfs 2019, ApJ 883, 205
Bardalez Gagliuffi, D.C., Burgasser, A. J., Schmidt, S. J. et al.

On the Age of the TRAPPIST-1 System 2017, ApJ 845, 110
Burgasser, A. J. & Mamajek, E. E.

SpeX Spectroscopy of Unresolved Very Low-Mass Binaries. I. Identification of Seventeen Candidate Binaries Straddling the L Dwarf/T Dwarf Transition 2014, ApJ 794, 143
Burgasser, A. J., Cruz, K. L., Cushing, M. C. et al.

Clouds in the Coldest Brown Dwarfs: Fire Spectroscopy of Ross 458C 2010, ApJ 725, 1405
Burgasser, Adam J., Simcoe, Robert A., Bochanski, John J., Saumon, Didier, Mamajek, Eric E., Cushing, Michael C., Marley, Mark S., McMurtry, Craig, Pipher, Judith L., & Forrest, William J.

The FIRE infrared spectrometer at Magellan: construction and commissioning 2010, SPIE 7735
Simcoe, Robert A., Burgasser, Adam J., Bochanski, John J., Schechter, Paul L., Bernstein, Rebecca A., Bigelow, Bruce C., Pipher, Judith L., Forrest, William, McMurtry, Craig, Smith, Matthew J., & Fishner, Jason

A Unified Near Infrared Spectral Classification Scheme for T Dwarfs 2006, ApJ 637, 1067-1093
Burgasser, AJ, Geballe, TR, Leggett, SK, Kirkpatrick, JD & Golimowski, DA

The First Substellar Subdwarf? Discovery of a Metal-poor L Dwarf with Halo Kinematics 2003, ApJ 592, 1186 Burgasser, AJ, Kirkpatrick, JD, Burrows, A, Liebert, J, Reid, IN, Gizis, JE, McGovern, MR, Prato, L, & McLean, IS