Michael Coughlin

Michael Coughlin

Michael Coughlin

Assistant Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy


John T. Tate Hall
Room 275-02
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics (MIfA)

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2016

M.A., University of Cambridge, 2013

B.S., Carleton College, 2012

Professional Background
Research Interests

My research focuses on using multi-messenger astronomy to study the Universe, coming at the same problem from multiple directions to gain a more complete picture. In particular, I study the coalescence of binary neutron stars with both gravitational waves and electromagnetic data, predominantly using wide field-of-view optical telescopes such as the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) to identify these counterparts. I also use these telescopes to search for future sources from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), a space-based gravitational wave detector that will study white dwarf binaries in our galaxy as well as binary black hole mergers.

Research Group
Co-Chair, Newtonian Noise Working Group of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, 2017-present
Co-Chair, Long-duration Unmodeled Searches Work Group of the LSC, 2017-present
Selected Publications
  1. Coughlin, Michael W et al. “ZTF J1901+5309: a 40.6-Min Orbital Period Eclipsing Double White Dwarf System.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 494.1 (2020): L91–L96
  2. Coughlin, Michael W et al. “Implications of the Search for Optical Counterparts During the Second Part of the Advanced LIGO’s and Advanced Virgo’s Third Observing Run: Lessons Learned for Future Follow-up Observations.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 497.1 (2020): 1181–1196
  3. Coughlin, Michael W. et al. “Measuring the Hubble Constant with a Sample of Kilonovae.” Nature Communications 11.1 (2020): n. pag.