David J McComas

Professor of Astrophysical Sciences
Vice President for PPPL
Email Address: 

B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1980

M.S., Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California Los Angeles, 1985

Ph.D., Geophysics and Space Physics, University of California Los Angeles, 1986


Research Interests

  • Space plasma physics
  • Spaceflight instrumentation and missions
  • Heliosphere interactions with the LSM
  • Heliospheric and magnetospheric physics
  • Planetary magnetospheres

Awards & Honors

  • 2014 COSPAR Space Science Award
  • NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal
  • James B. Macelwane Medal (AGU)
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science


  • Currently developing a laboratory space physics class
  • Previously (UTSA): Fundamentals of Space Physics, Heliospheric Physics, and Space Physics Lab class
Publications List: 
  • McComas, D.J., et al., Pluto’s interaction with the Solar Wind, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 2016JA022599, 2016.
  • McComas, D.J., et al., Local interstellar medium: Six years of direct sampling by the IBEX, Astrophys. J., Supplement Series, 220:22, doi:10.1088/0067-0049/220/2/22, October 2015.
  • McComas, D.J. and N.A. Schwadron, Plasma flows at Voyager 2 away from the measured suprathermal pressure, Astrophys. J. Lett., 795:L17, doi:10.1088/2014-8205/795/1/L17, 2014.
  • McComas, D.J., et al., Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS): Design of the energetic particle investigation, Space Sci. Rev., doi:10.1007/s11214-014- 0059-1, 2014.
  • McComas, D.J., et al., IBEX: The First Five Years (2009-2013), Astrophys. J. Supp., 213:20, doi:10.1088/0067-0049/213/2/20, 2014.
  • McComas, D.J., et al., The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) on the Juno mission to Jupiter, Space Sci. Rev., doi:10.1007/s11214-013- 9990-9, 2013.
  • McComas, D.J., et al., The heliosphere’s interstellar interaction: No bow shock,Science, 336, 1291, doi:10.1126/science.1221054, 2012.