Senate Faculty


Burkhard Militzer

CIPS Director; Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Astronomy



Specialty areas

Density functional methods,Equation of state calculations,Interiors of giant planets,Materials at high pressure,Mineral physics,Path integral Monte Carlo,Planet formation,Quantum Monte Carlo.

Research Interests

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.