PTYS/LPL Faculty

Adam Showman


Ph.D., 1999, California Institute of Technology

Years with LPL: 18

Astrobiology, Exoplanets; Planetary Formation and Evolution, Planetary Atmospheres, Theoretical Astrophysics, Dynamics and evolution of planetary atmospheres

Dr. Showman investigates the dynamics and evolution of planetary atmospheres and interiors. His atmospheric research currently focuses on giant planets—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the hundreds of giant planets that are being detected around other stars.

In addition to the active research areas described above, Dr. Showman also has a long-term interest in the atmospheric dynamics, climate, interior state, and geophysics of the terrestrial planets Earth, Mars, and Venus. A new area of interest is the atmospheric structure and dynamics of brown dwarfs.

Read more about Dr. Showman

International Astronomical Union
Nature Astronomy

Adam P. Showman passed away unexpectedly on March 16, 2020, at his home in Tucson, AZ. His untimely passing has been felt widely in the international planetary science community which has lost an outstanding theorist, dedicated teacher of many graduate students, and a sought-after collaborator to a world-wide network of exoplanet astronomers.

Adam Showman was born on October 9, 1968 in Palo Alto, CA. He studied physics at Stanford University, where he earned a B.S. in 1991. He earned a Ph.D. at Caltech in 1999, with a dissertation on the atmosphere of Jupiter as well as the geophysics of its largest moon Ganymede. After two short postdoc stints at the University of Louisville and NASA Ames, Dr. Showman joined the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor in 2001; he was named full Professor in 2012. He was recently named a Galileo Circle Fellow of the University of Arizona (2018) and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2019).

During his career, Dr. Showman directly advised eleven graduate students and mentored many more across the disciplines of planetary science, atmospheric sciences and geosciences. He was a renowned teacher who enjoyed explaining to his students the complicated details of planetary physics and hammering out ideas to solve research problems. He developed eight different courses in the planetary sciences, including two completely new graduate courses, with course notes that are treasured by his students. His early pioneering research on the atmospheric dynamics of exoplanets (Showman & Guillot, 2002, Astron. & Astrophys. 385:166-180) has been the paradigm of hot gas giant atmospheric circulation models ever since. This work showed that the difference between the day and night side on hot Jupiters would drive strong eastward equatorial winds, comparable to or greater than the speed of sound in the medium. Showman and his collaborators worked out in detail the theoretical predictions that were spectacularly verified in subsequent observations, profoundly shaping the field. Showman extended his innovative theoretical models beyond hot gas giant planets, to tidally-locked and fast-rotating planets of smaller sizes and cooler temperatures as well as to the larger and warmer brown dwarfs. He was deeply involved in the exoplanet science community, collaborating with many observers to interpret their observations of exoplanet atmospheres and working with theorists to advance modeling techniques. He served the planetary science community in many professional roles, including as Editor of the international planetary science journal, Icarus.

Read more about Adam Showman

Current Grants

  • Atmospheric circulation of brown dwarfs: NSF
  • Atmospheric circulation of hot Jupiters: NASA Origins
  • Mapping Weather on Brown Dwarfs: NASA Spitzer Space Telescope

Former Spacecraft Involvement

  • Science Definition Team for NASA Jupiter System Observer (JSO) mission concept, 2007; Science Definition Team for Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), 2008-2010.

Former Students

  • Maria Steinrueck
  • Xianyu Tan, 2018 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Tad Komacek, 2018 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Catherine Elder, 2015 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Tiffany Kataria, 2014 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Nikole Lewis, 2012 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • David Choi, 2009 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Yuan Lian, 2009 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Michael Bland, 2008 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • Kunio Sayanagi, 2007 (Ph.D. Physics)
  • Curtis Cooper, 2006 (Ph.D. PTYS)
  • John Keller, 2006 (Ph.D. PTYS)

Former Postdocs

  • Vivien Parmentier, 2015-2017
  • Xi Zhang, 2013-2015
  • Michael Sussman, 2012-2014
  • Emily Rauscher, 2010-2012
  • David Choi, 2009-2011
  • Mitri Giuseppe, 2004-2006


Complete publications list available from: NASA ADS author search: Adam P. Showman

Refereed publications (NASA ADS): Calendar Years 2017 through 2019

Beatty, T. G., Marley, M. S., Gaudi, B. S., Colón, K. D., Fortney, J. J., Showman, A. P. Spitzer Phase Curves of KELT-1b and the Signatures of Nightside Clouds in Thermal Phase Observations 2019AJ....158..166B

Zellem, R. T., Swain, M. R., Cowan, N. B., Bryden, G., Komacek, T. D., Colavita, M., Ardila, D., Roudier, G. M., Fortney, J. J., Bean, J., Line, M. R., Griffith, C. A., Shkolnik, E. L., Kreidberg, L., Moses, J. I., Showman, A. P., Stevenson, K. B., Wong, A., Chapman, J. W., Ciardi, D. R., Howard, A. W., Kataria, T., Kempton, E. M.-R., Latham, D., Mahadevan, S., Meléndez, J., Parmentier, V. Constraining Exoplanet Metallicities and Aerosols with the Contribution to ARIEL Spectroscopy of Exoplanets (CASE) 2019PASP..131i4401Z

Showman, A. P., Tan, X., Zhang, X. Atmospheric Circulation of Brown Dwarfs and Jupiter- and Saturn-like Planets: Zonal Jets, Long-term Variability, and QBO-type Oscillations 2019ApJ...883....4S

Komacek, T. D., Showman, A. P., Parmentier, V. Vertical Tracer Mixing in Hot Jupiter Atmospheres 2019ApJ...881..152K

Steinrueck, M. E., Parmentier, V., Showman, A. P., Lothringer, J. D., Lupu, R. E. The Effect of 3D Transport-induced Disequilibrium Carbon Chemistry on the Atmospheric Structure, Phase Curves, and Emission Spectra of Hot Jupiter HD 189733b 2019ApJ...880...14S

Lavvas, P., Koskinen, T., Steinrueck, M. E., García Muñoz, A., Showman, A. P. Photochemical Hazes in Sub-Neptunian Atmospheres with a Focus on GJ 1214b 2019ApJ...878..118L

Arcangeli, J., Désert, J.-M., Parmentier, V., Stevenson, K. B., Bean, J. L., Line, M. R., Kreidberg, L., Fortney, J. J., Showman, A. P. Climate of an ultra hot Jupiter. Spectroscopic phase curve of WASP-18b with HST/WFC3 2019A&A...625A.136A

Tan, X., Showman, A. P. Atmospheric Variability Driven by Radiative Cloud Feedback in Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Extrasolar Giant Planets 2019ApJ...874..111T

Yang, J., Abbot, D. S., Koll, D. D. B., Hu, Y., Showman, A. P. Ocean Dynamics and the Inner Edge of the Habitable Zone for Tidally Locked Terrestrial Planets 2019ApJ...871...29Y

Zhang, X., Showman, A. P. Global-mean Vertical Tracer Mixing in Planetary Atmospheres. II. Tidally Locked Planets 2018ApJ...866....2Z

Zhang, X., Showman, A. P. Global-mean Vertical Tracer Mixing in Planetary Atmospheres. I. Theory and Fast-rotating Planets 2018ApJ...866....1Z

Parmentier, V., Line, M. R., Bean, J. L., Mansfield, M., Kreidberg, L., Lupu, R., Visscher, C., Désert, J.-M., Fortney, J. J., Deleuil, M., Arcangeli, J., Showman, A. P., Marley, M. S. From thermal dissociation to condensation in the atmospheres of ultra hot Jupiters: WASP-121b in context 2018A&A...617A.110P

Kreidberg, L., Line, M. R., Parmentier, V., Stevenson, K. B., Louden, T., Bonnefoy, M., Faherty, J. K., Henry, G. W., Williamson, M. H., Stassun, K., Beatty, T. G., Bean, J. L., Fortney, J. J., Showman, A. P., Désert, J.-M., Arcangeli, J. Global Climate and Atmospheric Composition of the Ultra-hot Jupiter WASP-103b from HST and Spitzer Phase Curve Observations 2018AJ....156...17K

Wei, Q., Hu, Y., Liu, Y., Lin, D. N. C., Yang, J., Showman, A. P. Young Surface of Pluto’s Sputnik Planitia Caused by Viscous Relaxation 2018ApJ...856L..14W

Arcangeli, J., Désert, J.-M., Line, M. R., Bean, J. L., Parmentier, V., Stevenson, K. B., Kreidberg, L., Fortney, J. J., Mansfield, M., Showman, A. P. H Opacity and Water Dissociation in the Dayside Atmosphere of the Very Hot Gas Giant WASP-18b 2018ApJ...855L..30A

Zhang, M., Knutson, H. A., Kataria, T., Schwartz, J. C., Cowan, N. B., Showman, A. P., Burrows, A., Fortney, J. J., Todorov, K., Desert, J.-M., Agol, E., Deming, D. Phase Curves of WASP-33b and HD 149026b and a New Correlation between Phase Curve Offset and Irradiation Temperature 2018AJ....155...83Z

de Wit, J., Lewis, N. K., Knutson, H. A., Fuller, J., Antoci, V., Fulton, B. J., Laughlin, G., Deming, D., Shporer, A., Batygin, K., Cowan, N. B., Agol, E., Burrows, A. S., Fortney, J. J., Langton, J., Showman, A. P.  Planet-induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2's Eccentric System 2017ApJ...836L..17D

Zhang, X., Showman, A. P.  Effects of Bulk Composition on the Atmospheric Dynamics on Close-in Exoplanets 2017ApJ...836...73Z

Komacek, T. D., Showman, A. P., Tan, X.  Atmospheric Circulation of Hot Jupiters: Dayside-Nightside Temperature Differences. II. Comparison with Observations 2017ApJ...835..198K

Tan, X., Showman, A. P.  Effects of Latent Heating on Atmospheres of Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Planets 2017ApJ...835..186T

Stevenson, K. B., Line, M. R., Bean, J. L., Désert, J.-M., Fortney, J. J., Showman, A. P., Kataria, T., Kreidberg, L., Feng, Y. K.  Spitzer Phase Curve Constraints for WASP-43b at 3.6 and 4.5 μm 2017AJ....153...68S

Available filesSizeCreated
PDF icon showman.pdf184.33 KBDecember 10, 2018
Semester Course Day/Time Location Resources
Spring 2020 PTYS 522-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus
Spring 2019 PTYS 517-001 TTH 11:00a.m.-12:15p.m. Kuiper 312 Syllabus

Last updated on April 8, 2021