Josh Winn is a physicist and astronomer at Princeton University. His research goals are to explore the properties of planets around other stars, understand how planets form and evolve, and make progress on the age-old question of whether there are other planets capable of supporting life. His group uses optical telescopes to study exoplanetary systems, especially those in which the star and planet eclipse one another. Recent work has focused on the orbital architecture of planetary systems: the sizes, shapes, and orientations of the orbits, and the stellar obliquity. He was a Participating Scientist in the NASA Kepler mission and is a Co-Investigator in the ongoing Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission. Over the years, he and his group have also pursued topics in stellar astronomy, planetary dynamics, radio interferometry, gravitational lensing, and photonic bandgap materials. He has produced two lecture series for the Great Courses: The Search for Exoplanets and Introduction to Astrophysics.
Josh Winn is from Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated from M.I.T. in 1994 with bachelor's and master's degrees in physics. After spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar in the UK, at Cambridge University, he returned to M.I.T. as a Hertz Fellow. While in graduate school, he worked in medical physics, condensed-matter physics, and astrophysics, and wrote for the science section of The Economist. He earned a Ph.D. in physics in 2001, and subsequently held N.S.F. and Hubble postdoctoral fellowships at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He was on the M.I.T. Physics faculty for 10 years, before moving to Princeton in 2016.