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Stephen P. Reynolds

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor


Professor Reynolds received his AB degree magna cum laude from Harvard in 1971, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973 and 1980, all in physics. At Harvard, he served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. During his time in graduate school, he worked also as a professional violinist, performing regularly with the Oakland Symphony, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and new-music ensembles. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Virginia until 1982, and a post-doctoral associate at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (Charlottesville, VA) from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he joined the faculty of North Carolina State University, charged with founding a research group in astrophysics. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990 and Full Professor in 1995.

Professor Reynolds specializes in high-energy astrophysics, with primary applications to supernova remnants with and without pulsars, and the processes by which particles are accelerated to very high energies in these objects. He has also applied these ideas to active galactic nuclei and to outflows in star-forming regions. His identification and modeling of synchrotron emission from ultrarelativistic electrons in supernovaremnant shock waves has produced the most direct evidence for the sites of cosmic-ray acceleration, and is now widely used in the astrophysical community. He has supported his theoretical work with observations with radio telescopes and orbiting X-ray and infrared observatories. This research has been supported by NSF and NASA continuously since 1987. He has held appointments as a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Arcetri Observatory of the University of Florence. At NC State, Professor Reynolds has taught 18 different courses at all levels, from qualitative courses for non-scientists, through core undergraduate and graduate courses, to courses for advanced graduate students.

Select Publications

"The young remnant of a stripped-envelope supernova."
Borkowski, K. J., Reynolds, S. P., & Roberts, M. S. E.
ApJ  819, 160 (2016)
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"Broadband X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the crab nebula and pulsar with nustar"
Madsen, K. K., Reynolds, S., Harrison, F., An, H. J., Boggs, S., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Fryer, C. L., Grefenstette, B. W., Hailey, C. J., Markwardt, C., Nynka, M., Stern, D., Zoglauer, A., & Zhang, W.
ApJ  801, 66 (2015)
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"Asymmetries in core-collapse supernovae from maps of radioactive Ti-44 in Cassiopeia A"
Grefenstette, B. W., Harrison, F. A., Boggs, S. E., Reynolds, S. P., Fryer, C. L., Madsen, K. K., Wik, D. R., Zoglauer, A., Ellinger, C. I., Alexander, D. M., An, H., Barret, D., Christensen, F. E., Craig, W. W., Forster, K., Giommi, P., & Hailey, C. J.,Hornstrup, A., Kaspi, V. M., Kitaguchi, T., Koglin, J. E., Mao, P. H., Miyasaka, H., Mori, K., Perri, M. et al.
Nature  506, 339–342 (2014)
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"X-ray emission from strongly asymmetric circumstellar material in the remnant of Kepler's Supernova"
Burkey, M. T., Reynolds, S. P., Borkowski, K. J., & Blondin, J. M.
ApJ  764, 63 (2013)
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"Dust in a type ia supernova progenitor: Spitzer spectroscopy of Kepler's supernova remnant."
Williams, B. J., Borkowski, K. J., Reynolds, S. P., Ghavamian, P., Blair, W. P., Long, K. S., & Sankrit, R.
ApJ  755, 3 (2012)
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"Steady X-ray Synchrotron Emission in the Northeastern Limb of SN 1006."
Katsuda, Satoru; Petre, Robert; Mori, Koji; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Long, Knox S.; Winkler, P. Frank; Tsunemi, Hiroshi
ApJ  723, 383 (2011)
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"Particle acceleration in supernova-remnant shocks."
Reynolds, S.P.
Ap&SpSci  336, 257 (2010), (arXiv:1012.1306)
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"Radioactive Scandium in the Youngest Galactic Supernova Remnant G1.9+0.3."
Borkowski, Kazimierz J.; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Green, David A.; Hwang, Una; Petre, Robert; Krishnamurthy, Kalyani; Willett, Rebecca.
ApJ  724, L161 (2010)
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"Dusty Blast Waves of Two Young Large Magellanic Cloud Supernova Remnants: Constraints on Post-shock Compression."
Williams, Brian J.; Borkowski, Kazimierz J.; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Ghavamian, Parviz; Raymond, John C.; Long, Knox S.; Blair, William P.; Sankrit, Ravi; Smith, R. Chris; Points, Sean; Winkler, P. Frank; Hendrick, Sean P.
ApJ  729, 65 (2011)
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"Magnetic Fields in Supernova Remnants and Pulsar-Wind Nebulae."
Reynolds, Stephen P.; Gaensler, B. M.; Bocchino, Fabrizio
SpSciRev, in press  Letter, (2011)
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"Expansion of the Youngest Galactic Supernova Remnant G1.9+0.3."
Carlton, Ashley K.; Borkowski, Kazimierz J.; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Hwang, Una; Petre, Robert; Green, David A.; Krishnamurthy, Kalyani; Willett, Rebecca
ApJ  737, L22 (2011)
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"Pulsar Wind Nebulae with Thick Toroidal Structure."
Chevalier, Roger A.; Reynolds, Stephen P.
ApJ  740, L26 (2011)
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"RCW 86: A Type Ia Supernova in a Wind-blown Bubble."
Williams, Brian J.; Blair, William P.; Blondin, John M.; Borkowski, Kazimierz J.; Ghavamian, Parviz; Long, Knox S.; Raymond, John C.; Reynolds, Stephen P.; Rho, Jeonghee; Winkler, P. Frank
ApJ  741, 96W (2011)
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You can see more of Professor Reynolds' publications at The NCSU Scholarly Publications Repository

Honors & Awards

Professor Reynolds is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor, and was the nominee from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences for the Board of Governors' Teaching Award in 2005. He is a third-generation member of Phi Beta Kappa, and served as President of NC State's Zeta Chapter in 1997-98. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.