Chad Galley


Postdoctoral Scholar

        Theoretical Astrophysics (TAPIR)

        California Institute of Technology

        MC 350-17

        Pasadena, CA 91125

        Email: crgalley’at’

        CV available upon request



I am a theoretical physicist currently in the Theoretical Astrophysics group (TAPIR) at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Before coming to Caltech, I was a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and a postdoc at the University of Maryland in the Gravitation Theory group. I am currently supervised by Prof. Yanbei Chen (Caltech).

I am interested in several topics but I focus mostly on issues and problems in gravitational wave physics and astrophysics. There is a global effort to detect directly gravitational waves radiated by some of the most exotic objects in the universe: black holes and neutron stars. Measuring gravitational waves will tell us about the interiors of neutron stars and the dynamics of black holes, the validity of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the history of galactic mergers, among many other interesting things. The information carried by gravitational waves is really the only way that we can observe black holes and neutron stars in any kind of detail. In this sense, gravitational waves offers a new spectrum for peering into strongly gravitating systems.

My expertise is in using effective field theory to model gravitational wave sources (and other dissipative classical systems). I am also a leading expert in reducing big parametrized data sets with applications in numerical relativity and in data analysis for gravitational wave detectors like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO). In addition, I am spearheading numerical computations of Green’s functions in black hole space-times which intimately connects with this research. Check out my Research page for more details about past and present projects and my Publications page to see what I’ve published so far.

My research often can be applied (intentionally) to problems beyond gravitational waves. I use a combination of computational and analytical work in my research program. I also use programming languages (such as Python) and develop research problems to provide a useful setting for training students with the skills they need to pursue their careers, whether they remain in academia or not.