Scott Tremaine

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Scott Tremaine
Born Scott Duncan Tremaine
Toronto, Ontario
Citizenship Canada
Nationality Canadian
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions University of Toronto, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Princeton University
Alma mater Princeton University
Known for Theory of galactic dynamics

Scott Duncan Tremaine (born 1950)[1][2] is a Canadian-born astrophysicist. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of London,[3] the Royal Society of Canada and the National Academy of Sciences.[4] Tremaine is widely regarded as one of the world's leading astrophysicists[5][6] for his contributions to the theory of solar system and galactic dynamics.[7] Tremaine is the namesake of asteroid 3806 Tremaine.[8][9][10][11] He is credited with coining the name "Kuiper belt".[12]


He obtained a bachelor's degree at McMaster University in 1971, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1975.[13] He further received an honorary Ph.D. from McMaster University in 1996.[14] He was an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1981 to 1985.[15] He became the first director of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto in 1986, a position he held until 1996.[15] He gained the rare distinction of "University Professor" at the University of Toronto in 1995.[16] In 1997, he left CITA and took up a position as a professor at Princeton University, becoming chair of the Astrophysical Sciences department from 1998 to 2006.[1]

Scott Tremaine is currently a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, for which he left Princeton University in 2007, being replaced as department chair by David Spergel[17][18] He has been married to Prof. Marilyn Mantei Tremaine for more than a decade, an expert in human-computer interaction who is the past chair of the SIGCHI section of the Association for Computing Machinery.[19]

Scientific accomplishments[edit]

Pandora and Prometheus shepherding Saturn's F ring, as predicted by Goldreich and Tremaine

Tremaine, along with Peter Goldreich, correctly predicted that shepherd moons created Saturn's thin F ring, as well as the thin rings of Uranus in 1979.[20][21][22] The Saturnian moons Prometheus and Pandora were first observed in 1981[23] and shepherding moons were found around Uranus' rings in 1986.[24] Tremaine cowrote the book Galactic Dynamics with James Binney, which is often regarded as the standard reference in the field[1][25][26][27][28] and has been cited more than three thousand times in scholarly publications.[29][30] Tremaine, along with collaborators at the University of Toronto, showed that short period comets originate in the Kuiper belt.[31][32] Tremaine is credited with suggesting that the apparent "double nucleus" of the Andromeda Galaxy was in fact a single ring of old red stars.[33]

Awards and honours[edit]

Tremaine was awarded the 1997 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics for "diverse and insightful applications of dynamics to planets, rings, comets, galaxies and the universe."[24]

Tremaine won the C.S. Beals Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society which is awarded for outstanding research to a Canadian astronomer or an astronomer working in Canada.[34][35]

Tremaine won the 1983 Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy given by the American Astronomical Society in recognition of "his many outstanding contributions to a wide range of dynamical problems in both solar-system and galactic dynamics".[28][36]

Tremaine won the 1998 Dirk Brouwer Award which is awarded by the Division of Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society[37] "in recognition of his many outstanding contributions to a wide range of dynamical problems in both solar-system and galactic dynamics."[28]

Tremaine was awarded the 1990 Rutherford Memorial Medal in Physics by the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada for "his outstanding contributions to the field to [sic] astrophysics, particularly his spectacular success in predicting the properties of planetary ring dynamics and the extraplanetary objects that control them".[38]

Tremaine received an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto, June 11, 2010 "in recognition of his scholarly contributions to the field of astrophysics, and his administrative leadership in support of Canadian and international science".[39]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Scott Duncan Tremaine (1950- )". Virtual Museum of Canada. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  2. ^ "Scott Duncan TREMAINE". Canadian Who's Who 1997 edition on the web. University of Toronto Press. 
  3. ^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660-2007". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 18 July 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Tremaine Follows Bahcall's Stellar Path at the Institute". Town Topics. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  5. ^ "The Institute Letter". Institute for Advanced Studies. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  6. ^ "Bond awarded Dannie Heineman Prize". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  7. ^ "Canadian Asteroids". Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  8. ^ "Asteroid 3806 named after eminent Canadian astrophysicist". Discovery Channel. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  9. ^ "Look, up in the Sky". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  10. ^ "McMaster Times - Spring 1997". Retrieved 2007-05-28. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Asteroids (minor planets) related to UofT people". Retrieved 2007-05-28. [dead link]
  12. ^ John Davies (2001). Beyond Pluto: Exploring the outer limits of the solar system. Cambridge University Press. p. 191. 
  13. ^ "Institute for Advanced Study: Faculty and Emeriti: Tremaine". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  14. ^ "Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics". University of Toronto's The Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  15. ^ a b "Featured speakers for the CUPC 2003". Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics". University of Toronto Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  18. ^ "Top physicist gains stellar appointment". University of Toronto. Retrieved 2007-04-09. [dead link]
  19. ^ "SIGCHI organizers". Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  20. ^ NASA/JPL/Ron Baalke. "Historical Background of Saturn's Rings". Calvin J. Hamilton. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  21. ^ "Chaos Seen in Movement of Ring-Herding Moons of Saturn". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  22. ^ "New Clues Emerge in Mystery of Planetary Rings". New York Times. 1989-06-27. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  23. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About Saturn's Rings". NASA. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  24. ^ a b "Cosmologist Scott Tremaine receives two honors". Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Retrieved 2007-04-09. [dead link]
  25. ^ "UofT Asteroids". University of Toronto. Retrieved 2007-04-09. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Binney, J. and Tremaine, S.: Galactic Dynamics.". Princeton University Press. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  27. ^ "Scott Tremaine". International Center for Scientific Research. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  28. ^ a b c "Tremaine to Receive 1997 Brouwer Award". Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  29. ^ "Citations for from the ADS Databases". NASA's Astrophysical Data System. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  30. ^ "Binney:Galactic Dynamics - Google Scholar". Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  31. ^ "Where Comets Come From". Discovery Magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  32. ^ KENNETH CHANG (September 12, 2006). "Pluto’s Exotic Playmates". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  33. ^ "Hubble Finds Mysterious Disk Of Blue Stars Around A Black Hole". Science Daily. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  34. ^ "Winners of the Canadian C.S. Beals Award". Canadian Astronomical Society. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  35. ^ "Carlyle Smith Beals (1899-1979)". Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  36. ^ "AAS Prizes and Awards". American Astronomical Society. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  37. ^ "U. of T. The Bulletin, June 9/97, Faculty of Arts & Science". University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  38. ^ "RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada : Rutherford Memorial Medals in Physics". The Royal Society of Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  39. ^ [1]