Matthew Benacquista

Professor Matthew Benacquista
Montana State University, 1988
Cavalry 105F, Brownsville
Phone: (956) 882-6617


Phys 1401-10, TR 8:00-9:15
Office hours: TWR 10:00-12:00


I study stellar mass compact binaries containing white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes. These are potential sources for gravitational wave detectors such as LISA and LIGO. My research focuses on the formation scenarios for these objects and how gravitational radiation observations can help distinguish between them. This covers a broad range of astrophysics, including stellar evolution and mass transfer in binary systems. These systems may also form dynamically, so I also study the evolution of dense stellar clusters such as globular clusters and galactic nuclear star clusters. Globular clusters are some of the oldest stellar clusters known, while the evolution of galactic nuclear star clusters is tied to the growth of galaxies over cosmological time. I am beginning to look into cosmological models to determine the evolutionary history of these clusters.


  • “Classical Mechanics”, M. Benacquista and J. Romano, Springer, New York. (In preparation, to be published 2018).
  • “An Introduction to the Evolution of Single and Binary Stars”, M. Benacquista, Springer, New York. (2012).


  • "GW150914: First Search for the Electromagnetic Counterpart of a Gravitational-wave Event by the TOROS Collaboration", M. Diaz, M. Beroiz, T. Penuela, et al., ApJL, 828, L16 (2016)
  • "Localization and Broadband Follow-up of the Gravitational-wave Transient GW150914", LIGO Collaboration, ApJ, 826, L13 (2016)
  • "White Dwarf Binaries and the Gravitational Wave Foreground", M. Benacquista, in Proceedings of the IAU Symposium 312, 289 (2016)
  • "On the formation and evolution of the first Be star in a black hole binary MWC 656", Grudzinska, M., Belczynski, K., Casares, J., de Mink, S. E., Ziolkowski, J., Negueruela, I., Ribó, M., Ribas, I., Paredes, J. M., Herrero, A., Benacquista, M., MNRAS, 452, 2773 (2015)
  • “Prospects for Detection of Extragalactic Stellar Black Hole Binaries in the Nearby Universe”, M. Benacquista, J. Hinojosa, A. Mata, K. Belczynski, Journal of Physics: Proceedings of the 10th LISA Symposium, 610, 012049 (2015).