James M. Stone

Institute for Advanced Study

Primary Section: 12, Astronomy
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2022)

Photo Credit: Dan Komoda_Institute for Advanced Study


James Stone is a computational astrophysicist recognized for the use of numerical methods to study fluid dynamics in astrophysical systems, such as accretion flows onto black holes. Stone was born in Cornwall, England and grew up in Canada, graduating from Queen's University with degrees in physics in 1984 and 1986. He received his PhD in astronomy from the University of Illinois in 1990, followed by faculty appointments at the University of Maryland (College Park), the University of Cambridge, Princeton University, and the Institute for Advanced Study. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, and a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Stone is interested in the development and application of numerical methods to study nonlinear and multidimensional compressible fluid dynamics in astrophysical systems. This includes methods for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), radiation transfer, and relativistic fluid dynamics in dynamical spacetimes. He was the primary developer of the ZEUS code, one of the first publicly available astrophysical MHD codes. More recently, he has led the development of the Athena and Athena++ adaptive mesh refinement frameworks for astrophysical MHD. Stone has used these methods for pioneering studies of supersonic turbulence in the interstellar medium, the nonlinear regime of MHD instabilities in accretion flows, and the dynamics of radiation-dominated accretion disks, among many other problems. He has been a leader in the public dissemination of research software, and is also interested in issues related to software development for modern high-performance computing systems, and the support of research computing in academia.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software