Alexander P. Stephan

Alexander P. Stephan

The Ohio State University
Department of Astronomy

Picture Credits: CfA/Mark A. Garlick - NASA/JPL-Caltech -
NASA/ESA/STScl/G. Bacon - ESO/L. Cal├žada/M. Parsa


I am a Ohio State President's Postdoctoral Scholar and CCAPP Affiliate Fellow at the Ohio State University, where I work on a variety of topics including exoplanet dynamics, multi-star evolution, and galactic nuclei dynamics. I completed my PhD at UCLA in 2020, working with Prof. Smadar Naoz since 2014. Before that I was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. Originally I am from Heidelberg, Germany.
On this website you can find information about my work and links to my recent papers and my CV. If you have any questions regarding my research feel free to e-mail me!

Research Interests

I study the long-term orbital dynamics of multi-body systems, such as binary and triple stars or exoplanet systems, under the influence of stellar evolution effects. In particular, my PhD research focused on the Eccentric Kozai-Lidov Mechanism in conjunction with the effects from stellar mass loss and radial inflation and contraction. This mechanism has a large number of possible applications and I have used it to study a vast array of astronomical phenomena, including binary evolution in the Galactic Center, white dwarf pollution, Hot Jupiter formation, as well as stellar and planetary collisions. Since becoming a postdoctoral scholar at OSU, I have also become involved in other studies on exoplanets, such as observational studies of planets in evolved binary systems and the study of Hot Jupiter precession induced by rapidly rotating oblate stars, both on a theoretical level as well as involving observational data. Some of my works have been featured by AAS Nova (2), Physics Today, as a Nature Research Highlight, and by New Scientist.

Google Scholar

ADS publication list

Outreach and other Activities

I am passionate about outreach as a means to advance the scientific education and experiences of students from under-represented groups and to enhance the general public's awareness of current scientific achievements. As such, I served as one of the coordinators of the UCLA astronomy outreach group Astronomy Live! for several years, where we visit local LA schools or hold on-campus events to explain astronomy and physics concepts using scientific demonstrations. I have also participated in and at times co-organized the on-campus outreach event Exploring Your Universe, which draws several thousand visitors to UCLA each year.

OSU Links

Department of Astronomy
Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

Contact Information

E-mail and Office
Department of Astronomy
OSU, Columbus
OH 43210-1173