Douglas Whittet

Douglas Whittet
Emeritus Professor of Physics
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York 12180, USA

I support Astronomers for Planet Earth


Ph.D., Astronomy, University of St Andrews (1975)
B.Sc., Physics (Hons.), University of St Andrews (1970)

Research and Teaching:

  • Astrobiology: The origins and future prospects of life in the universe; environments and processes that led to life on Earth; the evolution and sustainability of life on Earth; the search for extraterrestrial life.
  • Astrochemistry: The origin and distribution of organic molecules and water in interstellar clouds and protoplanetary disks around newborn stars; the relationship between interstellar matter and planet-building material in our own and other solar systems.
  • Astrophysics: The optical properties of interstellar dust grains; applications of observational data to studies of grain alignment, grain growth, and the structure of galactic magnetic fields.
  • Culture: The history of astronomy and music in the Nordic countries, especially Finland.