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Portrait of Leo Blitz

Leo Blitz
Professor of Astronomy

PhD 1979 (Columbia University)

Campus address and phone:
633 Campbell Hall
(510) 643-3000



Specialty areas:
Astronomy, Formation of Galaxies, Evolution of Galaxies, Conversion of Interstellar Gases, Milky Way, Dark Matter, Dwarf Galaxies, Interstellar Medium, High Velocity Clouds, Hydrogen Atom

Research projects:

My current research interests focus mainly on how galaxies (including the Milky Way) form and evolve into the objects we see today and how the interstellar gas within galaxies is collected to form stars (including the Sun and Solar System).  Items of current active interest include trying to understand the nature of dark matter on galactic scales, particularly in dwarf galaxies and in the outer parts of the Milky Way. I am also working on how the diffuse interstellar medium generates star-forming giant molecular clouds in different environments to unravel the basic physics of star formation on galactic scales. We operate an array of fifteen millimeter-wave radio telescopes as part of the CARMA Array, near Bishop, California. We are building the Allen Telescope Array, a new type of radio interferometer of 350 dishes using commercial satellite dish technology to synthesize an aperture of 10,000 square meters for use at centimeter wavelengths.


Leo Blitz received his B.S. from Cornell University in 1967, his M.A. from  Columbia University in 1975, and his  Ph.D. Columbia University in 1979.