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Portrait of Burkhard Militzer

Burkhard Militzer
Associate Professor of Astronomy
Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Science

PhD 2000 (University of Illinois)

Campus address and phone:
407 McCone Hall
(510) 643-7414



Specialty areas:
Mineral physics, Interiors of giant planets, planet formation, materials at high pressure, equation of state calculations, Quantum Monte Carlo, path integral Monte Carlo, density functional methods

Research projects:

My research focuses on studying Earth and Planetary Science problems using computer simulation techniques that were developed in condensed matter physics. Recent studies focused hydrogen-helium mixtures in Jupiter and whether this planet has a rocky core. The comparison of theory and experiment is very important, but with computer simulations one can study much higher pressures than are accessible in experiments, and that is needed to understand giant planet interiors.


I was born 1970 in Dresden, Germany. I received a diploma in physics from the Humboldt University at Berlin in 1996, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. After three years as post-doc at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, I worked for four years as associate staff member at the Geophysical Laboratory of Carnegie Institution of Washington. In 2007, I joined UC Berkeley.