Physics Experts

Joel Tohline

Physics & Astronomy
Louisiana State University
United States of America


Joel Tohline pursued these various research projects over the years, he have had the opportunity to work closely with a number of exceptional students.A Fellow of the AAAS, Tohline has authored a hundred articles in scientific journals and proceedings on problems related to complex fluid flows in astrophysical systems. His expertise in utilizing high-performance computers to accurately simulate the processes by which stars form and to simulate catastrophic events that will give rise to bursts of gravitational radiation is recognized worldwide. Fifteen students have completed their doctoral dissertation research under his direction and he has been a lead investigator on grants that have brought over nine million dollars in federal and state funding to LSU. Tohline earned a B.S. in Physics from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1978. Before joining the LSU faculty in 1982, Tohline held a J. Willard Gibbs Instructorship in the Astronomy Department at Yale University and a postdoctoral fellowship in Group T-6 at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has served as a member of the Publications Board of the American Astronomical Society, as a member of the Applications Strategy Council of Internet2, on the Program Advisory Council of LIGO, as Chairman of LSU's Department of Physics & Astronomy, and as Interim Director of LSU's Center for Applied Information Technology and Learning (now the Center for Computation & Technology). Presently, Tohline serves as a member of the Advisory Council (MPSAC) for the Directorate of Mathematical & Physical Sciences of the U.S. National Science Foundation, and he serves as co-editor of the Vizualization Corner for Computing in Science and Engineering [AIP portal, IEEE portal], a magazine published jointly by the American Institute of Physics and the IEEE Computer Society.

Research Interest

My research has stemmed from a central theme of trying to understand the hydrodynamical evolution of self-gravitating, astrophysical systems, particularly when the geometry of such flows demand a fully three-dimensional representation. I have studied in detail problems that relate to star formation, gas-dynamical flows in galaxies, and compact stellar objects (such as white dwarfs and neutron stars). If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the mathematical tools and the physical concepts that underpin research efforts of this nature, I encourage you to browse through the on-line, graduate-level textbook entitled, "The Stucture, Stability, and Dynamics of Self-Gravitating Systems," that I have been developing since the mid-1990s. These research activities blend smoothly into the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in multiscale computational fluid dynamics that I have helped to establish in collaboration with Sumanta Acharya and numerous other colleagues across the LSU campus.


  • Staff, J. E., A. Menon, F. Herwig, W. Even, C. L. Fryer, P. M. Motl, T. Geballe, M. Pignatari, G. C. Clayton, & J. E. Tohline (2012) The Astrophysical Journal, 757, id. 76, 17 pp. "Do R Coronae Borealis Stars Form from Double White Dwarf Mergers?"

  • Byerly, Z. D., B. Adelstein-Lelbach, J. E. Tohline, & D. C. Marcello (2014). The Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 212, id. 23, 18 pp. "A Hybrid Advection Scheme for Conserving Angular Momentum on a Refined Cartesian Mesh."

  • Motl, P. M., J. Frank, J. Staff, G. C. Clayton, C. L. Fryer, W. Even, S. Diehl & J. E. Tohline (2017) The Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 229, id. 27, 41 pp. "A Comparison of Grid-based and SPH Binary Mass-transfer and Merger Simulations."

Global Experts from United States of America

Global Experts in Subject

Share This Profile