Tad KomacekPostdoctoral Scholar

Research Focus:
Planetary Science, Exoplanets, Atmospheric Dynamics
Hinds 473


I received my undergraduate degrees in Geophysical Sciences and Physics from the University of Chicago in 2013, and my Ph.D in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona in 2018. 

Research Interests:

My research is focused on leveraging observations of exoplanetary atmospheres to constrain theoretical models of their climate. I use a comparative planetology approach in which a large number of characterized exoplanets can be used to determine the robustness of theory and numerical simulations. In this way, exoplanets can serve as a testbed for models that were developed to understand Earth’s atmosphere and climate. In my research, I utilize a combination of pen and paper theory, one-dimensional numerical planet internal and atmospheric structure modeling, and more sophisticated three-dimensional numerical circulation modeling. I compare the results of these models to observations in order to learn about processes operating in the atmospheres of exoplanets. At Chicago, I’m studying the atmospheric dynamics and climate of terrestrial exoplanets in order to determine what observations with future space telescopes (e.g., the James Webb Space Telescope) can tell us about their atmospheres. 

Selected Publications:

D.D.B. Koll and T.D. Komacek (2018), Atmospheric Circulations of Hot Jupiters as Planetary Heat Engines, The Astrophysical Journal, 853:133.

T.D. Komacek and A.N. Youdin (2017), Structure and Evolution of Internally Heated Hot Jupiters, The Astrophysical Journal, 844:94. 

T.D. Komacek and D.S. Abbot (2016), Effect of Surface-Mantle Water Exchange Parameterizations on Exoplanet Ocean Depths, The Astrophysical Journal, 832:54. 

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