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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

I am an undergraduate student and I am interested in joining the Black Hole Group and get involved in an Iniciação Científica research project. How should I proceed?

See this page with information for prospective students.

I am interested in joining the Black Hole Group as a graduate student (MsC or PhD). How should I proceed?

See this page with information for prospective students.

What are the research topics and scientific questions that your group is working on?

See the Black Hole Group’s website for an overview of the research topics as well as my research website. Also, feel free to browse my publication list.

I am an undergraduate student. Could you give me suggestions of courses I should take in order to have a solid astrophysics foundation?

Yes, please read this website with suggested courses for undergrads. It is focused on students at USP but it should apply to other universities.

Would you have some suggestions of books about black holes? I am a (interested lay person)/(high school student)/(person with a higher education).

Absolutely. Check this out.

How to best contact you?


I have a new, revolutionary theory about the universe! Could you read it and give me feedback?

No. Please write it up as a scientific paper and submit it to a scientific journal such as the Astrophysical Journal, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Physical Review, Physical Review Letters, Nature or Science. This is the standard way through which scientific ideas are disseminated. Your work will be critically evaluated by peer scientists in a fair manner.

Let me quote Katie Mack:

“[…] if you really think your idea is amazing and revolutionary, just e-mailing (or tweeting or snail-mailing) it to active researchers is not a particularly good way of getting it evaluated and discussed. You are much better off submitting it to a journal. (I am not a journal.) And just to be clear, I am also not available to endorse people I don’t know and work with for arXiv submission.”

If you feel like you have a breakthrough idea in your hands, it helps to check out Ethan Siegel’s How To Overthrow A Scientific Theory In Three Easy Steps.

Will you be my Facebook friend?

Probably not. I keep my personal Facebook account limited to people I know in person, or, in some very special circumstances, people I interact with a lot online. To be honest, I barely check my FB account these days.

However, you can follow me (@nemmen) and my research group (@BlackHolesUSP) on twitter to get updates about science-related topics, and “like” my public Facebook page

How can I work at NASA?

Because I have worked at NASA, students often ask me how to land a job there. I think the question should be reframed. Instead, you should ask yourself: what are your intellectual and scientific skills? what can you contribute? why do you want to work there? Work hard. Study deep. Be patient. Spend less time on social media. Fall in love with the scientific practice. You will be surprised with what you can achieve.

University of São Paulo / Associate Professor

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