#SoCaltech: Konstantin Batygin


It may seem very different on the surface, but being a scientist and being a musician involves the same mental process. Coming up with an idea, then building it into a song, and then arranging that song—it has direct parallels with formulating a hypothesis, developing it through research, and turning it into something that can stand on its own. But as similar as those two things may be qualitatively, it's still remarkable! I never thought being a professor at Caltech would lead me to playing in the symphony. In what other universe would I have wound up playing with the Miami Symphony?

On March 14, Konstantin Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science and Van Nuys Page Scholar at Caltech, will perform with the Miami Symphony Orchestra. Batygin, who first hypothesized the existence of an as-yet-undiscovered ninth planet in the solar system with Caltech’s Mike Brown, will perform a new song written by Miami Symphony conductor Eduardo Marturet; the song’s creation was inspired by the Planet 9 hypothesis. Batygin regularly plays guitar and sings with the band The Seventh Season, but this will be his first time on stage with a full symphony.

#SoCaltech is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu.