13 Facts About Alar Toomre


Alar Toomre is a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Alar Toomre received an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering and Physics from MIT in 1957 and then studied at the University of Manchester on a Marshall Scholarship where he obtained a Ph.


Alar Toomre returned to MIT to teach after completing his Ph.


Alar Toomre was appointed an Associate Professor of Mathematics at MIT in 1965, and Professor in 1970.


In 1964, Alar Toomre devised a local gravitational stability criterion for differentially rotating disks.


Alar Toomre collaborated with Peter Goldreich in 1969 on the subject of polar wander, developing the theory of polar wander.


Alar Toomre conducted the first computer simulations of galaxy mergers in the 1970s with his brother Juri, an astrophysicist and solar physicist.

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In 1977 Alar Toomre suggested that elliptical galaxies are the remnants of the major mergers of spiral galaxies.


Alar Toomre further showed that based on the local galaxy merger rate, over a Hubble time the observed number of elliptical galaxies are produced if the universe begins with only spiral galaxies.


From this work, the Alar Toomre brothers identified the process of collision evolution as the Alar Toomre sequence.


In 1993, Alar Toomre received the Dirk Brouwer Award which recognizes "outstanding contributions to the field of Dynamical Astronomy".


Alar Toomre was one of the 1984 recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the "Genius Grant".


Alar Toomre was the recipient of the Magellanic Premium award in 2014 for his work in numerical galaxy simulations during the 1960s.