Lars Hernquist is a theoretical astrophysicist and Mallinckrodt Professor of Astrophysics at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is best known for his research on dynamical processes in cosmology and galaxy formation/galaxy evolution.
Hernquist's research involves the dynamics of galaxies and the effect of a merger driven model for galaxy evolution. He is a world expert in simulating mergers of galaxies to demonstrate the expected appearance and morphology of the resulting body. He defined the "Hernquist Profile", which is an analytic expression for the distribution of dark matter in galaxies. Hernquist's research is largely computational with one of the world's largest supercomputers accessible for his research.
- Tadpole galaxies are lightweights, New Scientist, June 1, 1996; Astrophysicist Maps Out Our New Galaxy, Science Daily, April 18, 2000; 'Red and dead' galaxies surprise astronomers, New Scientist, March 11, 2005; Simulations Show How Growing Black Holes Regulate Galaxy Formation, Science Daily, February 18, 2005; Magellanic Clouds Are First-Time Visitors, Science Daily, September 29, 2007.
- Hernquist, Lars. An analytical model for spherical galaxies and bulges, Astrophysical Journal, 1990. 359-364.
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