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Donald E Winget

Department of Astronomy

Harlan J. Smith Centennial Professorship in Astronomy | Distinguished Teaching Professor

White Dwarfs, Asteroseismology, Whole Earth Telescope, Stellar Pulsation


Phone: 512-471-3404

Office Location
PMA 16.236

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

B.S., University of Illinois (1976)
M.A., University of Rochester (1978)
Ph.D., University of Rochester (1982)

Research Interests
Theory and observation: cosmochronology; evolution of the Milky Way; late stages of stellar evolution; stellar pulsations; white dwarf stars as dark matter detectors; the Whole Earth Telescope.

Group Areas
White Dwarfs, Asteroseismology, Whole Earth Telescope, Stellar Pulsation

Diverse avenues of research, ranging from the physics of matter at high temperatures and densities to galactic structure and cosmochronology, intersect in the study of white dwarf stars. I exploit the intrinsic simplicity of these high gravity objects by applying the powerful theoretical machinery of asteroseismology to determine many of the fundamental structural and evolutionary parameters of white dwarf stars; rotation rates, magnetic field strengths, total mass, compositional stratification of the envelope, core composition, and more. I use this information to study the behavior of matter under extreme conditions, to explore the history and population of our galaxy, and constrain the nature of weakly interacting particles as dark matter candidates. We are searching planetary systems around pulsating white dwarf stars. This search will yield planetary systems dynamically similar to our own solar system.

  • University Distinguished Teaching Professor (2005)
  • Harlan J. Smith Centennial Professorship (2004)
  • College of Natural Sciences Teaching Award (2002)
  • Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award (2002)
  • Board of Visitors Teaching Excellence Award (1993)
  • Dad's Association Centennial Teaching Fellow (1992)
  • The Newton Lacy Pierce Prize (1987)
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award (1986-1991)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1985-1987)
  • Robert J. Trumpler Award (1983)
  • Rush Rhees Fellow (1976-1979)