Scott J Kenyon uses observations and numerical simulations to study the formation of stars and planetary systems. He was among the first to show that young stars with ages of only 1 million years accrete material from surrounding disks of gas and dust. These disks typically contain enough material for a planetary system. Today, he develops numerical simulations for the formation of planetary systems. His calculations were the first to demonstrate that debris disks around the nearby stars Vega and β Pictoris are newly-formed planetary systems containing planets at least as large as Pluto and Mars.
Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, American Assoication for the Advancement of Science