Eric Burns, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Eric Burns
Assistant Professor Eric Burns

Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Ph.D., 2017 - University of Alabama in Huntsville

Louisiana State University
Department of Physics & Astronomy


Research Interests

I am an astrophysicist that broadly studies transient events in high-energy photons and in concert with other messengers from the universe. I study neutron star mergers which are the most luminous events in the Universe, the related non-thermal gamma-ray burst emission, and identify unexpected or new kinds of transient phenomena, and played a leading role in the multimessenger discovery of a binary neutron star merger. I seek to use these results to understand basic properties of the universe, including the properties of ultra-dense matter and fundamental physics. 

I contribute to active space-based instruments and telescopes on the ground, and work with instrument teams to propose new missions to resolve key outstanding questions in astrophysics and beyond. I am particularly interested in the development of new analysis and search software as well as the use of robust statistical methodology. 

Current and Selected Publications 

  • Neutron Star Mergers and How to Study Them, E Burns, arXiv preprint arXiv:1909.06085, submitted to Living Reviews in Relativity, 2020 
  • Fermi GBM observations of GRB 150101B: a second nearby event with a short hard spike and a soft tail, E Burns, P Veres, et al., The Astrophysical Journal Letters 863, 2, L34, 2018 
  • Gravitational Waves and Gamma-Rays from a Binary Neutron Star Merger: GW170817 and GRB 170817A, The LIGO and Virgo Collaboration, the Fermi-GBM team, and the INTEGRAL team, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 848, 2, L13, 2017 
  • Fermi GBM observations of LIGO gravitational-wave event GW150914, V Connaughton, E Burns et al., The Astrophysical Journal Letters 826, 1, L6, 2016 
  • Do the Fermi Gamma-Ray Burst Monitor and Swift Burst Alert Telescope see the Same Short Gamma-Ray Bursts?, E Burns, V Connaughton, et al., The Astrophysical Journal 818, 2, 110, 2016