Douglas N. C. Lin, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, has been chosen to receive the 2014 Brouwer Award for outstanding contributions to the field of dynamical astronomy. The Brouwer award is bestowed annually by the Division on Dynamical Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society.
Lin is best known for his pioneering work on the origin and evolution of planetary systems. He has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of astrophysical disks, including protoplanetary disks (the disks of gas and dust from which planets form around stars), the rings of Saturn, spiral disk galaxies, and the accretion rings around black holes that power quasars.
Lin's greatest impact has been in the field of planet formation and the booming field of extrasolar planets, according to the citation accompanying the Brouwer Award: "Early on, Doug realized that accretion disk modeling with turbulent angular momentum transport needs to be applied to protoplanetary disks in order to understand the environment for planet formation. He developed the formalism (the so-called 'alpha' models) that is still used today to describe the evolution of these disks."
Lin will receive the award and give the Brouwer lecture at the next meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy in April 2015 in Pasadena.
An honorary fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Lin served as the founding director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University in Beijing, China. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the UCSC Division of Physical and Biological Sciences in 2008. Lin has been a member of the astronomy faculty at UC Santa Cruz since 1979.