Webpage of Brian Metzger

    Brian Metzger


    Department of Astrophysical Sciences
    Princeton University
    Peyton Hall (Room 207)
    Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

    Phone: 609-258-3807

Starting in January 2013, I will begin as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Columbia University.

I am currently a Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Fellow in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. My Ph.D. was completed in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy at UC Berkeley under the supervision of Professor Eliot Quataert.

Click here for my CV and publication list.


I am interested in a broad range of topics in theoretical astrophysics, with a focus on high energy and stellar astrophysics. A unifying theme of my current research is a connection to transient (or 'time domain') phenomenon. This is motivated by many sensitive, wide-field telescopes coming online in the next decade across the electromagnetic spectrum. I am also excited by the scientific potential of the upcoming generation of gravitational wave interferometers, such as Advanced LIGO, and the promise for a future era of "gravitational wave astronomy".

I am looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia starting in Fall 2013. Check out the advertisement here!

Here is a list of past research projects with links to further details (under construction).

Primary collaborators (past and present) include:
Almudena Arcones (Darmstadt), Jon Arons (Berkeley) , Edo Berger (Harvard), Josh Bloom (Berkeley), Niccolo Bucciantini (INAF), Rodrigo Fernandez (IAS), Dimitrios Giannios (Purdue), Gabriel Martinez-Pinedo (Darmstadt), Daniel Perley (Caltech), Shunsaku Horiuchi (UC Irvine), Tony Piro (Caltech), Roman Rafikov (Princeton), Dave Spiegel (IAS), and Todd Thompson (OSU).

Publications and Thesis

My list of publications can be found on astro-ph or the Astrophysics Data System (ADS).

My Ph.D. thesis, titled "Theoretical Models of Gamma-Ray Burst Central Engines," can be found here. My dissertation was awarded the Dissertation Prize by the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society.

Students and Postdocs

Graduate & Undergraduate: I am happy to talk with interested students at any time.

Previous Graduate Students: Siva Darbha (Berkeley), Konstantin Bochkarev (Princeton)

Review Articles

    To get a sense of my research, please check out these reviews:
  1. "Gamma-Ray Burst Central Engines: Black Hole Vs. Magnetar"Metzger, B.D., 2010, Invited Review; Frank N. Bash Symposium 2009: New Horizons in Astronomy (Austin, TX; October 2009)
  2. "Observational Signatures of the Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs"Metzger, B.D., Piro, A.L., Quataert, E., Thompson, T.A., 2009, Proceedings of Neutron Stars & Gamma-Ray Bursts (Cairo/Alexandria, Egypt; April 2009)
  3. "Are Gamma-Ray Burst Outflows Neutron-Rich?" Metzger, B.D., Thompson, T.A., & Quataert, E. 2008, Proceedings of "Gamma-Ray Bursts 2007" in Santa Fe, NM
  4. "Proto-Neutron Star Winds, Magnetar Birth, and Gamma-Ray Bursts" Metzger, B.D., Quataert, E., & Thompson, T.A. 2007, American Institute of Physics Conference Series, 937, 521


Below are a sample of recent research talks I have given (pdf format)
  • "The Proto-Magnetar Model for GRBs," Einstein Fellows Symposium (October 2010)
  • "Observable Signatures of Neutron Star Mergers," Colloquia/Seminars at Michigan State, NASA Goddard, Notre Dame, U Iowa, U Michigan, Ohio State CCAPP (2010)
  • "Relic Proto-Stellar Disks as an Origin of Circumstellar Interaction in Core Collapse Supernovae," (July 2010; IAP, Paris)
  • "Gamma-Ray Burst Cental Engines," (October 2009, Invited Review at Bash Symposium; Austin, TX)
  • "Optical Counterparts of Neutron Star Mergers Powered by the Decay of R-Process Nuclei," (October 2010; LIGO Science Group)
  • "The Effects of r-Process Heating on Late-Time Activity in Short GRBs," (January 2010, AAS)
  • "Neutrino-Heated Winds from Proto-Magnetars & Hyper-Accreting Disks" SciDac Gamma-Ray Burst Meeting, Stanford KIPAC (September 2007)
  • "Short GRBs with Extended Emission from the Accretion-Induced Collapse of a White Dwarf" SciDac All Hands Meeting, Stanford KIPAC (April 2008)
  • "The Evolution and Outflows of Hyper-Accreting Disks" Columbia/Harvard CfA/Princeton University (October 2008)
  • "Observable Signatures of the Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs" Graduate Student / Postdoc Seminar, UC Berkeley (Spring 2009)
  • "Observable Signatures of the Accretion-Induced Collapse of White Dwarfs" "Neutron Stars and Gamma Ray Bursts", Alexandria, Egypt (April 2009)
  • "Outflows from Accretion Disks Produced by Merging Compact Objects and Accretion-Induced Collapse" INPA Journal Club, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (April 2009)

    Useful Links


    I was born and raised in Burlington, Iowa, along the Mississippi river. While at Berkeley, I was captain of the Physics Department basketball team "Net Force". I play the alto saxophone and enjoy following politics.