Prize Recipient

Matthew Elias Caplan
Indiana University


"for a pioneering study of dense nuclear matter in compact stars that makes surprising connections across disciplines including nuclear physics and biophysics."


Matthew E. Caplan received his B.S. in physics from the University of Virginia in 2013, and his Ph.D. in physics from Indiana University in 2017, where he worked with Prof. Charles Horowitz. His research in astromaterial science is interdisciplinary, and seeks to understand the material properties of dense matter in white dwarfs and neutron stars. For his thesis research, he used molecular dynamics simulations to study the crystallization of accreted matter in the outer crusts of neutron stars and the nuclear pasta layer in the inner crust. He is currently a Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, where he works with Prof. Andrew Cumming to model neutron star interiors.

Selection Committee:

2018 Selection Committee Members: Michael Thoennessen (chair) DNP chair (12/18), G. D. Cates, member, DNP past chair (12/17), Chris Crawford, member (12/17), James Vary, member (12/18), Yury Kolomensky, 2017 recipient's advisor (12/17)