Matt Clement

Graduate Student


B.S. 2010 U.S. Naval Academy

Ph.D. 2019 University of Oklahoma



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Office: 113 Nielsen Hall


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Research Area

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Research Description

My research interests include the formation and dynamical evolution of the solar system, and that of other similar systems of planets elsewhere in the galaxy which might harbor life. While in graduate school I have been using numerical, N-body computer simulations to study the early evolution of the solar system. In particular, my work focuses on the formation and long-term dynamical stability of the four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars). Understanding the evolution of the young solar system provides us with insight as to the likelihood of similar conditions which might support life existing elsewhere in the universe. During my first few years of graduate school, I explored the consequences that a dynamical instability between the giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) would have on the forming terrestrial planets. Recently, I have been using graphical processing units (gpus; which greatly speed up simulations by performing calculations in parallel) to continue this investigation, and reevaluate the common initial conditions used when studying terrestrial planet formation.


"A record of the final phase of giant planet migration fossilized in the asteroid belt's orbital structure," Clement, Matthew S.; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.; Kaib, Nathan A., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492(1), 56-60, (2020) ADS: 2020MNRAS.492L..56C arXiv: 1912.02833 DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slz184

"Dynamical Constraints on Mercury's Collisional Origin," Clement, Matthew S.; Kaib, Nathan A.; Chambers, John E., The Astronomical Journal, (2019) ADS: 2019AJ....157..208C arXiv: 1904.02173 DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/ab164f

"The early instability scenario: terrestrial planet formation during the giant planet instability, and the effect of collisional fragmentation," Clement, Matthew S.; Kaib, Nathan A.; Raymond, Sean N.; Chambers, John E.; Walsh, Kevin J., Icarus, 321, 778-790, (2019) ADS: 2019Icar..321..778C arXiv: 1812.07590 DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.033

"Excitation and Depletion of the Asteroid Belt in the Early Instability Scenario," Clement, Matthew S.; Raymond, Sean N.; Kaib, Nathan A., The Astronomical Journal, 157(1), 38, (2019) ADS: 2019AJ....157...38C arXiv: 1811.07916 DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aaf21e

"Mars’ growth stunted by an early giant planet instability," Clement, Matthew S.; Kaib, Nathan A.; Raymond, Sean N.; Walsh, Kevin J., Icarus, 311, 340-356, (2018) ADS: 2018Icar..311..340C arXiv: 1804.04233 DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.04.008

"Prevalence of chaos in planetary systems formed through embryo accretion," Clement, Matthew S.; Kaib, Nathan A., Icarus, 288, 88-98, (2017) ADS: 2017Icar..288...88C arXiv: 1701.07881 DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.01.021

In Research Group

Nathan Kaib, Assistant Professor

Kalee Anderson, Graduate Student
Hunter Campbell, Graduate Student
Elizabeth Ellithorpe, Graduate Student