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Saul Teukolsky

Hans A. Bethe Professor of Physics

Saul Teukolsky

Educational Background

B.Sc. (Hons. Physics), B.Sc. (Hons. Applied Math.), 1970, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Ph.D., 1973, Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology. Richard Chace Tolman Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1973-74. Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Cornell University, 1974-77. Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Cornell University, 1977-83. Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Cornell University, 1983-99. Hans A. Bethe Professor of Physics and Astrophysics, 1999-present. Visiting appointments at: Department of Applied Math and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge; Department of Astronomy, Harvard University; Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara; Columbia University; Department of Physics, Caltech. Fellow, American Physical Society. Fellow, American Astronomical Society. Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1973; John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, 1981; Forefronts of Large-Scale Computing Award, 1990; Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1996; National Academy of Sciences, 2003.



General relativity and relativistic astrophysics; numerical relativity; black hole and neutron star physics; computational physics


  • Physics
  • Astronomy

Graduate Fields

  • Astronomy and Space Sciences
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Physics


  • Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-based Sciences and Education (CLASSE)
  • Laboratory for Elementary-Particle Physics (LEPP)
  • Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science (CCAPS)


My major research interests include general relativity, relativistic astrophysics, and computational astrophysics.  I am engaged in a long-term project to solve Einstein's equations of general relativity by computer.  One of the goals of this project is to predict the gravitational wave form from coalescing black holes in binary orbit about each other.  An exciting moment was when our wave form was used to compare theory with experiment in the first detection by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). My recent research has spanned many other topics in relativistic astrophysics. I have 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.

Larry Kidder, Mike Boyle

Graduate Students
Gabriel Bonilla, Nils Deppe, Francois Hebert, Eamonn O'Shea, and Will Throwe


Fall 2021


Properties of the Binary Black Hole Merger GW150914, The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016).

Formulation of Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Relativistic Astrophysics, S. A. Teukolsky, J. Comp. Phys. 312, 333 (2016).

Toroidal Horizons in Binary Black Hole Mergers, A. Bohn, L. E. Kidder and S. A. Teukolsky, Phys. Rev. D, in press, (2016).

Magnetic Effects on the Low-T/|W| Instability in Differentially Rotating Neutron Stars, C. D. Muhlberger, F. H. Nouri, M. D. Duez, F. Foucart, L. E. Kidder, C. D. Ott, M. A. Scheel, B. Szilagyi and S. A. Teukolsky, Phys. Rev. D90, 104014 (2014).

Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing, W. H. Press, S. A. Teukolsky, W. T. Vetterling and B. P. Flannery, Third Edition, 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). Russian Edition: MIR Publishers, Moscow (1986).