Field of Expertise

John Bahcall is the Richard Black Professor of Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study. John Bahcall's original calculations of the expected neutrino output from the sun led to a long experimental and intellectual adventure that continues today. The "solar neutrino problem" he helped pose (and on which he remains a leading authority) promises to yield new insights not only into astrophysics, but also into the most basic forces of nature. He led a major effort to exploit the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope, especially to elucidate the properties of the most distant and energetic objects in the universe -- quasars. Bahcall's areas of expertise also include models of the galaxy, dark matter, atomic and nuclear physics applied to astronomical systems, stellar evolution, and quasar emission and absorption lines.

Educational Background

Bahcall received his A.B. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1956, his M.S. from the University of Chicago in 1957, and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1961. From 1960 to 1962 he served as a research fellow in physics at Indiana University.


Caltech Faculty, 1962-70; Institute for Advanced Study Member, 1968-70, Professor, 1971-; Fellow, American Physical Society; Member, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, NASA Advisory Council, Academia Europaea, American Philosophical Society; President, American Astronomical Society, 1990-92; Chair, National Underground Science Laboratory Committee, 2001; NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, 1992; Nevada Medal of Science, 1994; Dannie Heineman Prize, 1994; Hans Bethe Prize, 1998; National Medal of Science, 1998; Russell Prize, 1999 Gold Medal Royal Astronomical Society 2003, Franklin Medal in Physics 2003.


Institute for Advanced Study School of Natural Sciences - Bahcall's homepage

American Scientist: The Magazine of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

Science Watch


G. B. Field, ed.; H. C. Arp and J. N. Bahcall. THE REDSHIFT CONTROVERSY. W. A. Benjamin

John N. Bahcall. NEUTRINO ASTROPHYSICS. Cambridge University Press

Roman Smoluchowski, John N. Bahcall, Mildred Shapley Matthews, edit. THE GALAXY AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM. University of Arizona Press

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