Robert FisherRobert Fisher, PhD

Department of Physics

Department Profile


PhD, University of California at Berkeley, 2002

BS, California Institute of Technology, 1994


Dr. Robert Fisher is a faculty member in the physics department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He earned his B.S. in physics with honors from Caltech in 1994. At Caltech he was the recipient of the George W. Green Memorial Prize in creative scholarship, awarded annually to an undergraduate for original research beyond the normal requirements of specific courses. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he received a NASA Graduate Research Fellowship. He was subsequently a postdoctoral research scholar at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, 2002-2005), and research scientist at the Department of Energy Advanced Simulation and Computing Flash Center in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago (2005-2008). While at Chicago, he was also an adjunct faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he taught a popular course on introductory astronomy for undergraduate art majors.

The primary theme of Dr. Fisher’s research is the fundamental physics of turbulent flows, and its application to the two endpoints of stellar evolution—star formation and supernovae—using a combination of theoretical and computational techniques. While at LLNL, he developed the first quantitative theory of the distribution of stellar binary periods. At Chicago, Dr. Fisher led an international team of computational scientists and physicists in the development and analysis of the largest three-dimensional computer simulation of weakly-compressible fully-developed turbulence ever completed. Also at Chicago, Dr. Fisher was part of the team to carry out the first self-consistent computational simulation of the three-dimension detonation of a Type Ia supernova. This research on turbulence and Type Ia supernovae was honored in 2009 by the Department of Energy with a Certificate of Service.

At the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dr. Fisher leads a group of graduate and undergraduate students pursuing several exciting research projects in star formation and supernovae. He invites graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in theoretical astrophysics and computational physics to drop by to speak with him.


Graduate Physics & Astrophysics Courses

  • Graduate Seminar Dark Energy & Accelerating Cosmos : F11
  • High-Energy Astrophysics : S15
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution : S19, S13, S10
  • Statistical Mechanics: F20

Undergraduate Physics & Astrophysics Courses

  • Advanced Physics Laboratory (co-taught) : F20, F19, F17, F15, F14, S13, F13
  • Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics II (junior level) : S14, S13, S11
  • Undergraduate Quantum Mechanics I (junior level) : F12, F10
  • Undergraduate Classical Mechanics (junior level) : F18, F17
  • Undergraduate Statistical Mechanics (senior level): F20
  • Mathematical Physics II : F15, F14, F11
  • Mathematical Physics I : S15, S16
  • Intermediate Astrophysics (for Physics Majors) : S20, S18, S16, S14, S12, F09
  • Modern Physics : S20, S19, S18, S12, S11, S10
  • Classical Physics I (Calc-based for Scientists and Engineers) : F20, F19, F18, F17, F15, F14, F13, F09, F08
  • Introductory Astronomy (General Education) : F12, F10

Previous Courses Taught at School of Art Institute of Chicago

  • Introductory Astronomy (General Education) : S08, S07

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