Charles Forbes Gammie



Charles Forbes Gammie

Primary Research Area

  • Astrophysics / Gravitation / Cosmology
235 Loomis Laboratory

For more information


Professor Charles Gammie received his bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1987 from Yale University and his Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton in 1992. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia from 1992-1994, and at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1994-1998. He joined the faculties of physics and astronomy at Illinois in January 1999.

Professor Gammie's research involves black holes, star and planet formation, and accretion physics. He is a leader in the computer simulation of astrophysical plasmas, particularly studies of hot plasmas accreting onto black holes. He was named a University Scholar and a Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar in 2007.

Research Honors

  • University Scholar, University of Illinois, September 2007 - August 2010
  • Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellowship, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists And Engineers (PECASE), July 2002
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award for Outstanding Research/Teaching, 2001-2006
  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Faculty Fellow, 2001-2002, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Spring 2015PHYS 496

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Gammie, C.F., Noble, S., & Leung, P.K., “Numerical Models of Black Hole Accretion Flows,” Comp. Phys. Comm., 177: 250–253, Jul. 2007.
  • Johnson, B., & Gammie, C.F., “Linear Theory of Thin, Radially Stratified Disks,” Astrophys. J., 626: 978–990, June 2005.
  • McKinney, J.C., & Gammie, C.F., “A Measurement of the Hydromagnetic Luminosity of a Kerr Black Hole,” Astrophys. J., 611: 977–995, August 2004.
  • Gammie, C.F., “The Magnetorotational Instability in the Kerr Metric,” Astrophys. J., 614: 309–313, October 2004.
  • Watson, W.D., Wiebe, D.S., McKinney, J.C., & Gammie, C.F., “Anisotropy of Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence and the Polarized Spectra of OH Masers,” Astrophys. J., 604: 707–716, April 2004.
  • Gammie, C.F., Shapiro, S.L., & McKinney, J.C., “Black Hole Spin Evolution,” Astrophys. J., 602: 312–319, February 2004.

Related news

  • Research
  • Astrophysics

The Event Horizon Telescope Project announced that it has captured the first image of a black hole. The feature is located at the center of Messier 87 – a giant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with University of Illinois physics and astronomy professor Charles Gammie, who heads up the theory working group for the large, multi-institutional collaboration.

  • Research
  • Astrophysics
  • Astronomy

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)—a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration—was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences around the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87 (M87)1, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun2.

  • Accolades

Thirty-eight research groups at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been allocated new computation time on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This round of allocations provides over 17 million node-hours, equivalent to over half a billion core hours, and is valued at over $10.5 million, helping Illinois researchers push the boundaries of innovation and frontier science discovery.

  • Accolades
  • Astrophysics/Cosmology
  • Astrophysics
  • Cosmology

Professor Charles Gammie has been named a 2015 Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics by the Simons Foundation.

Gammie, who has joint appointments in astronomy and physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will use the fellowship to continue his leading-edge theoretical work in black hole astrophysics, while on sabbatical next academic year at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. While abroad, Gammie will also enjoy an appointment as a visiting fellow at All Souls College in Oxford, for the fall (Michaelmas) term.