Skip to main content

Brian D. Fields

Profile picture for Brian D.  Fields

Contact Information

216 Astronomy Building, MC-221
1002 W. Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Interests

I am fascinated by the "inner space/outer space" connections that link the science at the smallest and largest scales.  My research focusses on the highest-energy sites in nature--the big bang, exploding stars (supernovae), and high-energy particles in space (cosmic rays)--where nuclear physics and elementary particle physics play a central role.  Understanding these processes and their interplay allows us to trace the history of matter over cosmic time. Turning the problem around, I use these high-energy phenomena as particle accelerators to probe fundamental physics in ways inaccessible to terrestrial experiment.


PhD in Physics. U. of Chicago 1994.
AB in Physics and English. Williams College 1989.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Astronomy
Professor, Physics

Recent Publications

Brunton, I. R., O’Mahoney, C., Fields, B. D., Melott, A. L., & Thomas, B. C. (2023). X-Ray-luminous Supernovae: Threats to Terrestrial Biospheres. The Astrophysical journal, 947(2), Article 42.

Ertel, A. F., Fry, B. J., Fields, B. D., & Ellis, J. (2023). Supernova Dust Evolution Probed by Deep-sea 60Fe Time History. Astrophysical Journal, 947(2), Article 58.

Fields, B. D., & Wallner, A. (2023). Deep-Sea and Lunar Radioisotopes from Nearby Astrophysical Explosions. Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, 73(1), 365-395.

Wang, X., Clark, A. M., Ellis, J., Ertel, A. F., Fields, B. D., Fry, B. J., Liu, Z., Miller, J. A., & Surman, R. (2023). Proposed Lunar Measurements of r-Process Radioisotopes to Distinguish the Origin of Deep-sea 244Pu. Astrophysical Journal, 948(2), Article 113.

Yeh, T-H., Olive, K. A., & Fields, B. D. (2023). The Neutron Mean Life and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. Universe, 9(4), Article 183.

View all publications on Illinois Experts