Frans Pretorius

Professor of Physics
478 Jadwin Hall

My primary field of research is Einstein's theory of general relativity, and I specialize in numerical solution of the field equations. Some of my current projects include: understanding the nature of binary compact object (black hole and neutron star) mergers and the gravitational waves emitted during the collision, critical phenomena at the threshold of gravitational collapse, the stability and dynamics of higher-dimensional black holes, and the nature of singularities that generically appear in black hole and cosmological spacetimes. The non-linearity and complexity of Einstein's equations make it challenging to solve even numerically, and some portion of my time is spent designing algorithms to efficiently solve the equations in parallel on large computer clusters, and software to manipulate and visualize the simulation results.