Adam Frank

Adam Frank
Related Work: 

The Constant Fire
(Adam Frank)

Astrophysicist and Professor

Adam Frank fell in love with astronomy when he was 5 years old and the affair has never cooled.

Late one night in the family library, the future Professor Frank found the keys to the Universe sketched out on the covers of his dad's pulp-science-fiction magazines. From astronauts bounding across the jagged frontiers of alien worlds to starships rising to discovery on pillars of fire, the boundless world of possibilities on those covers became the one he was determined to inhabit.

Later the love for astronomy transformed into a passion for the practice of science itself when his father's simple explanation of electric currents and sound waves turned the terror of a booming thunderstorm into a opportunity to marvel at the world's beauty.

Now a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester, Adam Frank studies the processes which shape the formation and death of stars and has become a leading expert on the final stages of evolution for stars like the sun.

Frank is a theoretical/computational astrophysicist and currently heads a successful research group. He holds a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy Fusion lab. As a post-doc he was awarded the prestigious Hubble Fellowship and in 1997 he was awarded an NSF Career award.

Frank described himself as an "evangelist of science." His commitment to showing others the beauty and power of science has led him to a second career as a popular writer and speaker on the subject. For the last 16 years Frank has published numerous popular articles on everything from planet formation to the quantum mechanics of honey bee dances (a piece that inspired a major art installation).

He has been a regular contributor to Discover Magazine and Astronomy Magazine (where he serves on the editorial advisory board) and has written for Scientific American, Sky & Telescope, Tricycle and many other publications. In 1999 Frank was awarded an American Astronomical Society prize for his science writing.

In January 2009 his first book, The Constant Fire, was published by the University of California Press. This year his work will appear in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. The Constant Fire was chosen one of SEED magazine's "Best Picks of the Year."