Stanford’s Tom Abel named permanent director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Physics and Cosmology

Tom Abel

TOM ABEL, acting director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Physics and Cosmology (KIPAC), and director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology division, has been appointed as the permanent KIPAC director, SLAC Director CHI-CHANG KAO announced this week.

Abel is only the second director of KIPAC since the institute was founded in 2003. He succeeds ROGER BLANDFORD, who stepped down in June 2013 after 10 years as director. His appointment was effective June 1.

“Tom’s commitment to serve as the director of KIPAC will bring many benefits to Stanford and SLAC researchers who study cosmology and astrophysics,” said ANN ARVIN, vice provost and dean of research at Stanford University. “Tom’s own scientific expertise in this field, together with his engagement as a KIPAC faculty member and, most recently, as the acting director, will assure that the institute’s programs retain the outstanding international reputation established under Roger’s leadership and that new opportunities to enhance KIPAC are pursued successfully.”

In addition to his role as KIPAC director, Abel is also associate professor of particle physics and astrophysics and associate professor of physics at the university. As a computational cosmologist, his simulations have provided insights on the formation of stars and galaxies in the universe and how dark matter evolves during structure formation.

“In his nearly two years as acting director, Tom has demonstrated his ability to lead this important joint institute between SLAC and Stanford,” Kao said. “I know he will continue to strengthen the ties between SLAC and Stanford in our astrophysics and cosmology efforts.”

Abel said he looks forward to continuing to lead the institute.

“KIPAC is a wonderful community of talented and curious people,” Abel said. “I am happy to have the opportunity to continue to support them and the cutting-edge research we do here.”

Abel’s research interests include primordial star formation, cosmological structure formation and astrophysical fluid dynamics and collisionless fluids such as dark matter and astrophysical plasmas.