Dr. Alexander J. van der Horst

Alexander van der Horst headshot
Associate Professor of Physics and Deputy Chair
Corcoran Hall
725 21st Street NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
United States
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

  • High-Energy Astrophysics
  • Cosmic Transients
  • Multi-Wavelength Observations
  • Computational Modeling
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts
  • Gravitational Wave Sources
  • Magnetars
  • Tidal Disruption Events

Current Research

My research focuses on the multi-wavelength observations and modeling of a variety of high-energy cosmic transient sources, including gamma-ray bursts, gravitational wave sources, magnetars, and tidal disruption events. My observational work covers the extremes of the electromagnetic spectrum, namely with gamma-ray satellites (e.g. Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope) and radio telescopes (e.g. VLA, WSRT, LOFAR, MeerKAT); and I am the Project Scientist of SCORPIO, a new instrument on the optical/near-infrared Gemini Observatory. My modeling efforts are focused on extracting physical parameters of transient sources from multi-wavelength observations, using state-of-the-art computational techniques. I have (co-)supervised half a dozen graduate and twenty undergraduate students, who have worked on all areas of my research. I am also active in astronomy and physics outreach, to increase community engagement and stimulate an interest in science.


PhD in Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, 2007

MSc in Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, 2003

MSc in Theoretical Physics, University of Amsterdam, 2003


You can find my full list of publications on ADS.

Classes Taught

Origins of the Cosmos (ASTR 1002)

Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (ASTR 2121)

Physics Capstone (PHYS 4195W)

Physics Symposium (PHYS 4200)

Applied Statistics & Data Analysis in Physics (PHYS 6810)