Timothy Beers

Timothy Beers

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Professor, Notre Dame Chair in Astrophysics

Office: 339 Nieuwland Science Hall
Phone: 574-631-4088
Email: tbeers@nd.edu

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Areas of Expertise

Astronomy, Milky Way origin, astrochemistry

Beers is interested in the origin and evolution of the elements in the universe, and the assembly of large spiral galaxies such as the Milky Way. For decades, Beers has designed and executed large-scale surveys of stars in the Milky Way, efficiently sifting through literally millions of individual stars in order to find those objects that have recorded the chemical history of the universe in their atmospheres. Beers’ efforts have been responsible for the identification (and subsequent analysis) of the great majority of stars known with overall abundances of heavy metals less than 1/1000th that of our sun. Beers now leads the involvement of Notre Dame astronomers in SDSS-IV, the third extension of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Beers is a co-PI and an associate director of the NSF Physics Frontier Center, JINA: Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, which brings together the work of nuclear physicists and astronomers at numerous institutions worldwide to make progress on understanding of the formation of the elements, and the astrophysics of the sites in which they were produced (e.g., supernovae, neutron stars, AGB stars, etc.).


Second-generation stars identified, giving clues about their predecessors
Detailed age map shows how Milky Way came together
Astrophysicists release new study of one of the first stars
Astrophysicists produce the first age map of the halo of the Milky Way
Astronomers discover chemical signature of first-generation very massive stars


Forbes — Hints of Universe’s Very First Stars
Discover — The Archaeology of Stars
TIME — Evidence of Absolutely Enormous Dead Stars Discovered
Big Picture Science — Tim Beers
WSBT — Notre Dame professor’s star discovery may help answer big questions