University of California, Berkeley
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Earth Sciences
Eugene Chiang is a theoretical astrophysicist with interests in all things planetary, from planet formation to orbital dynamics to planetary atmospheres. He seeks to find first-principles explanations of astronomical observations, especially those for which there is no understanding at the order-of-magnitude level. Recent work includes the origin of super-Earth atmospheres and dynamical sculpting of debris disks. He teaches a variety of classes at Berkeley including undergraduate astrophysics, graduate-level radiative processes and fluid mechanics, and (his favorite) order-of-magnitude physics. He received the 2019 Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Physical Sciences, and the 2014 Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest award for teaching on campus. He served as the Chair of the Berkeley Department of Astronomy from 2015 to 2018.