Neta Bahcall

Astrophysical Sciences

137 Peyton Hall



Neta A. Bahcall is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysics at Princeton University. She is Director of the Undergraduate Program in Astrophysics, and past Director of the Council on Science and Technology of Princeton University.

Bahcall's work focuses on observational cosmology, addressing questions such as: What is the large-scale structure of our Universe? How did structure form and evolve? How much dark matter exists in the Universe and where is it located? What is the fate of our Universe - will it expand forever or recollapse?
Bahcall has used a variety of methods to 'weigh' the Universe; she showed that we live in a lightweight Universe with only a fraction of the critical mass needed to halt its expansion. Thus, the Universe may expand forever.
Bahcall is the author of nearly 300 scientific publications.She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, past Vice-President of the American Astronomical Society, and the recipient of numerous honors.Bahcall has served as Councilor of the AAS, Director of the AURA Board, Merle Kingsley Distinguished Fellow at Caltech, Chancellor's Distinguished Lecturer LSU, Century Lecturer of the AAS, Patten Lecturer at IU, Evnin Lecturer at Princeton University, Recipient of an Honorary Degree from Ohio State University, Chair and member of various NASA, NSF, and Congressional committees, and has given numerous public lectures in the US and abroad. She is a member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, first Chair of its Science Advisory Committee and Chair of its Cluster Working Group.
Bahcall was born in Israel. She received her PhD from Tel-Aviv University, working in Nuclear Astrophysics under the direction of Prof. William A. Fowler of Caltech. After receiving her PhD Bahcall moved to Princeton University. She has served as the first Head of the Science Program Selection Office and Chief of the General Observer Branch at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.