Allan Adams is a physicist and PI of the Future Ocean Lab at MIT.  Adams earned degrees in physics form Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford, and spent three years in the Harvard Society of Fellows, before joining the faculty of the MIT Dept of Physics in 2008.  Along the way, Adams developed a passion for ocean conservation and photography; his documentary work and art have been exhibited at the New England Aquarium, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Boston Museum of Science, the The Charles Hayden Planetarium, The Franklin Institute, and beyond.  In 2015, Adams joined MIT’s Creative Art Council. In 2016, after many years happily exploring the physics of black holes and string theory, Adams officially switched his research focus to engineering and communication for ocean conservation. In January of 2017, Adams opened the Future Ocean Lab, devoted to developing low-cost, low-power sensors and imaging technologies for marine research, and to using those technologies to document the world’s changing oceans.  Adams is also a dedicated educator and public speaker — his introductory lectures on quantum mechanics from MIT have been viewed nearly two million times, and his TED talks have been viewed more than that 3 million times.  His 2016 TED talk about the LIGO  discovery of Gravitational Waves was chosen as one of the top 10 TED Talks of 2016.


Allan Adams


PI, Future Ocean Lab

Lecturer, Dept. of Physics

Research Scientist, CMS/W

77 Mass Ave, 6-405

Cambridge, MA 02139

o: 1.617.253.4866

Recent Projects:

A Documentary Short for the TFI VR App

The Franklin Institute

October 2016

TED 2016

March 2016

November 2014

MIT 8.04 on OCW

June 2014

TED 2014

April 2014

Phys Rev Lett

April 2014

New England Aquarium

August 2013

and Superfluid Turbulence

Science Magazine

July 2013

News Coverage:

  1. Quantum @ Wired

  2. Turbulence @ NewScientist

  3. Superfluids @ MIT

  4. Superfluids @ Science

  5. Cuttlefish @ NEA

  6. Oceans @ MIT

  7. Secret Life @ NOVA