MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2001

David N. Spergel


Age: 40

Published October 1, 2001

David Spergel is a theoretical astrophysicist whose research describes the origins, structure, and future evolution of the universe. His research tackles the most challenging questions in astrophysics, ranging from the interpretation of solar neutrino flux, to the role of dark matter in the creation of the Milky Way, to the early history of galactic formations and gravitational deformations, to the very shape of the universe. Spergel is the principal theorist for NASA’s Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), a project that seeks to generate a high-resolution map of the tiny fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation – remnants of the first appearance of light after the Big Bang. In addition, his novel hypothesis regarding the presence of a large cloud of hydrogen gas near our galaxy opens an avenue towards a clearer explanation for the formation of the local group that includes the Milky Way.

David Spergel received an A.B. (1982) from Princeton University and an A.M. (1984) and Ph.D. (1985) from Harvard University. He is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He has been affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study and with Princeton University since 1987. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as the Physical Review Letters and the Astrophysical Journal.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

David N. Spergel In the Media

"Podcast: The Infinite Universe"

The American Physical Society Physics Central
David N. Spergel , 2001 MacArthur Fellow
Read More

"A Bold Critic of the Big Bang's 'Smoking Gun'"

Quanta Magazine
David N. Spergel , 2001 MacArthur Fellow
Read More

About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Sarah Deer, Legal Scholar and Advocate

Class of 2014

Review Affirms Impact and Inspiration of MacArthur Fellows Program thumbnail

Review Affirms Impact and Inspiration of MacArthur Fellows Program

“We are proud of the Fellows Program and its impact on the lives of not just those selected but people all over the world." Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows program. Read More
"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’" thumbnail

"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’"

Commentary by Cecilia Conrad originally published in the Washington Post Read More