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Portrait of Peter Nugent

Peter Nugent
Adjunct Professor of Astronomy

PhD 1997 (University of Oklahoma)

Campus address and phone:
447 Campbell Hall



Specialty areas:
Supernovae, wide-field optical surveys, time-domain astrophysics, radiation transport, cosmology, numerical simulations

Research projects:

My primary research areas involve computational astrophysics. I am always looking to solve a new and interesting problem in the best and fastest way possible using my background in high-performance computing and astrophysics. I am the PI of the Type Ia Supernova program in the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) as well as a member of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and I am actively involved in carrying out spectrum synthesis calculations for supernovae for the former. I am also a member of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) and the proposed BigBOSS experiment. Due to this involvement, I have recently turned my attention to working on a new code, NYX, to perform large adaptive mesh refinement hydrodynamical + n-body simulations to calculate the absorption spectra caused by neutral hydrogen in the cosmological environment - a Lyman alpha forest cosmology simulator.


Nugent received B.A. from Bowdoin College in 1990 followed by a MS and PhD in Physics from the University of Oklahoma in 1997. Nugent came to Berkeley in 1996 to work with Saul Perlmutter's Supernova Cosmology Project in the Physics division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where the group made the first measurements of the accelerating universe. He then moved to the Computational Research division in 2000 and is currently a Senior Staff Scientist there. He is Group Lead for LBNL's Computational Cosmology Center as well as the Team Lead for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's Analytics program.