Konstantin Batygin

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Konstantin Batygin
Konstantin Batygin smiling.jpg
Konstantin Batygin in 2017
Konstantin Yuryevich Batygin

1986 (age 33–34)
NationalityRussian, American
EducationUniversity of California, California Institute of Technology
Known forPlanet Nine
Spouse(s)Olga A. Batygin (née Mishina)[1][2][3][4]
ChildrenA daughter (born 2012)[5]
Scientific career
FieldsPlanetary astronomy

Konstantin Batygin (Russian: Константи́н Юрьевич Батыгин) is a Russian-American astronomer and Assistant Professor of Planetary Sciences at Caltech.[6] He is on the 2015 Forbes list of 30 scientists under 30 who are changing the world,[7] and has been named one of the "brilliant 10" people of 2016 by Popular Science magazine.[8]

Early life[edit]

Konstantin Batygin was born in Moscow, Soviet Union.[5] His father, Yuri Konstantinovich Batygin, worked as an accelerator physicist in the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute until 1994, when he moved along with his wife Galina[9] and their family to Wakō, Japan, and began working at the particle accelerator facility in RIKEN.[5] There, Konstantin graduated from a public Japanese elementary school, later on attending a Russian embassy-based school and studying the martial art Gōjū-ryū.[5]

In late 1999, at age 13,[7] Konstantin Batygin moved to Morgan Hill, California[10] along with his family. He chose to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz for the beach and the chance to keep playing in his rock band, The Seventh Season.[5][11] During his sophomore year as an undergraduate at the university, he met Gregory P. Laughlin at a departmental party, and afterwards they began working together on the Solar System’s long-term dynamical evolution.[5] In June 2008, he graduated from UCSC with a bachelor's degree in astrophysics,[10] and won the Loren Steck Award for his thesis, "The Dynamical Stability of the Solar System".[9] Batygin subsequently went on to pursue graduate studies at Caltech, obtaining a Ph.D. in Planetary Science in 2012.


Konstantin Batygin's research is primarily aimed at understanding the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In 2010, Konstantin Batygin and David J. Stevenson published a calculation,[12] which showed that hot Jupiters can become inflated as a consequence of Ohmic dissipation of electrical currents induced through an interaction between ionized atmospheric winds and the planetary magnetic field. In 2012, Batygin demonstrated that misalignments between stellar spin-axes and planetary orbits can arise from gravitational perturbations exerted onto protoplanetary disks by primordial companions stars.[13][14] In 2015, Batygin and Laughlin hypothesized that the Solar System once possessed a population of short-period planets that were destroyed by Jupiter's migration through the solar nebula.[15] In January 2016, Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown proposed the existence of a ninth planet in the Solar System.[11] In 2018, Batygin showed that the evolution of astrophysical disks can be modeled with the Schrödinger equation, a fundamental equation in quantum mechanics.[16]


  1. ^ "Faculty Footnotes: Konstantin Batygin". Engineering & Science. California Institute of Technology. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  2. ^ Olga Batygin. "Outreach, gender, and science: my personal thoughts". LinkedIn. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Olga A. Batygin". caltech.edu. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Olga Batygin". radaris.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Batygin, Konstantin. "About Me". gps.caltech.edu. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  6. ^ Batygin, Konstantin. "Home". gps.caltech.edu. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b Hedgecock, Sarah (5 January 2015). "30 Under 30: Young Scientists Who Are Changing The World". Forbes. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  8. ^ Greenwood, Veronique; Willyard, Cassandra (7 September 2016). "The Man Whose Models Revealed A Possible Ninth Planet In Our Solar System". Popular Science. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  9. ^ a b "Undergraduate awards ceremony caps annual Student Achievement Week". news.ucsc.edu. University of California Santa Cruz. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b Stephens, Tim (9 June 2008). "Study by UCSC undergrad shows a solar system gone wild". news.ucsc.edu. University of California Santa Cruz. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b Hand, Eric (20 January 2016). "Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto". Science. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ Batygin, Konstantin; Stevenson, David J. (1 January 2010). "Inflating Hot Jupiters with Ohmic Dissipation". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 714 (2): L238. arXiv:1002.3650. Bibcode:2010ApJ...714L.238B. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/714/2/L238. ISSN 2041-8205.
  13. ^ Gayle, Damien (16 November 2012). "Did a lost star knock the Earth off its orbit? New theory to explain why our planet circles the sun at an angle to the solar equator". MailOnline. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  14. ^ Batygin, Konstantin (2012). "A primordial origin for misalignments between stellar spin axes and planetary orbits". Nature. 491 (7424): 418–420. arXiv:1304.5166. Bibcode:2012Natur.491..418B. doi:10.1038/nature11560. PMID 23151584.
  15. ^ Feltman, Rachel (23 March 2015). "Jupiter might have wrecked the first version of our solar system". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  16. ^ Mandelbaum, Ryan F. (5 March 2018). "Fundamental Equation of Quantum Physics Also Describes Rings and Disks in Space". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2018-03-05.

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