Adrian Hamers is an independent Max Planck Research Group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA). He obtained his PhD from Leiden University in 2016, after studying physics and astronomy at Utrecht University. In 2016, he moved to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, to work as a postdoctoral fellow. From September 2019, he is heading a new Research Group at the MPA. His interests lie in the areas of stellar evolution and gravitational dynamics, with a focus on compact objects, stellar systems, supermassive black holes, and planetary systems.

Education and positions held

  • 2016-2019:
    • Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, USA
  • 2012-2016:
    • PhD (cum laude), Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • 2010-2012:
    • MSc Astrophysics & Space Research, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Research Summary

The discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes by LIGO in 2015 has revitalized the area of gravitational wave astrophysics. The origin of black hole and neutron star mergers is still unclear, however, and various scenarios have been proposed.

My Research Group focuses on the evolution of multiple-star systems such as triples, quadruples, and binary systems in galactic nuclei. We model the complex interplay between dynamical, stellar, and binary processes in these systems. The goal is to make predictions for the statistical properties of merging compact objects, revealed to us through gravitational waves, and thereby gain insight into the evolution of multiple stars. We are also interested in other compact object mergers such as white dwarf mergers leading to Type Ia supernovae, and planetary subsystems within multiple-star systems.

Key publications

  •  Hamers, A.S.; Rantala, A.; Neunteufel, P.; Preece, H.; Vynatheya, P. Multiple Stellar Evolution: a population synthesis algorithm to model the stellar, binary, and dynamical evolution of multiple-star systems. 2021, MNRAS, in press (
  • Hamers, A.S.; Pols, O.R.; Claeys, J.S.W.; Nelemans, G. Population synthesis of triple systems in the context of mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs. 2013, MNRAS, Volume 430, Issue 3, p.2262-2280 (
  • Hamers, A.S.; Bar-Or, B.; Petrovich, C.; Antonini, F. The impact of vector resonant relaxation on the evolution of binaries near a massive black hole: implications for gravitational wave sources. 2018, ApJ, Volume 865, Issue 1 (…865….2H)
  • Hamers, A.S.; Portegies Zwart, S.F. White dwarf pollution by planets in stellar binaries. 2016, MNRAS Letters, Volume 462, Issue 1, p.L84-L87 (
  • Hamers, A.S.; Portegies Zwart, S.F.; Merritt, D. Relativistic dynamics of stars near a super- massive black hole. 2014, Volume 443, Issue 1, p.355-387 (