Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virgina. Position at Saclay.
extragalactic astronomy, galaxy formation and evolution, chemical evolution of the universe, compact blue dwarf galaxies.
His primary research involves studying very young dwarf galaxies in the local universe. These can be used as nearby laboratories for studying galaxy formation processes and for improving the accuracy in the measurements of the primordial Helium abundance to constrain better Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the amount of baryonic matter in the universe. He's planning to develop a new technique to search for these very metal-deficient objects at look-back times of about 10 billion years (i.e going back in time 2/3 of the age of the universe), using the new large 10-m class telescopes now beginning to be operational, such as the European VLT (Very Large Telescope) and the American Gemini Telescope.
Luminous Compact Galaxies at Intermediate Redshifts: Progenitors of Bulges of Massive Spirals?, F. Hammer, N. Gruel, T. X. Thuan, H. Flores, and L. Infante 2001, ApJ, 550, p. 570
Chemical enrichment by massive stars, Y. Izotov and T. X. Thuan 2000, Ne AR, 44, p. 329
The Young Age of the Extremely Metal-deficient Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxy SBS 1415+437, T.X. Thuan, Y.I. Izotov, and C.B. Foltz 1999, ApJ, 525, p. 105
Author of several books : The Birth of the Universe, The Secret Melody, Chaos and Harmony.