Sebastian Heinz

Position title: John and Abigail Van Vleck Professor of Astronomy


Phone: 608-890-1459

4506 Sterling Hall

Sebastian Heinz headshot outside with red jacket on.

Research Interests

High energy astrophysics and the astrophysical application of computational fluid mechanics in the context of cosmic structure formation and flows in the vicinity of compact objects. X-ray dust tomography and X-ray spectroscopy.

Personal Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

I stand with people of color and from underrepresented groups, and with the LGBTQIA+ community. I support their rights to free expression, to freedom from oppression, and to fair and just treatment under the law. As an academic, I recognize that I need to use my position of privilege to create opportunity and access for those who have been denied because of race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion or lack thereof, or country of origin.


Dr. Sebastian Heinz is a professor in the Astronomy department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on the observable properties of black holes and the impact growing black holes have on their environment and the universe at large, using a combination of analytic and computational methods. Other research areas of interest include the growth and evolution of cosmic large scale structure and the development of numerical techniques to study astrophysical fluids and plasmas. Dr. Heinz is also developing and applying novel techniques and algorithms in X-ray Dust Tomography, with the goal to advance our understanding of Galactic structure and the properties of interstellar dust.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006, Dr. Sebastian Heinz was a Chandra Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT (2003-2006), working in the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and an Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany for three years (2000-2003). He received his Ph.D. in 2000 at the Astrophysics and Planetary Science Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a Fulbright Scholar after undergraduate and graduate studies at the Universität Tübingen and the Leibniz Kolleg Tübingen, Germany.

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