Navigation Menu+

High Energy Astrophysics

Research in the High Energy Astrophysics Division focuses on astronomical objects and processes that emit and absorb energy as X-rays, which include planets, all types of stars,  neutron stars, supernova remnants, supermassive and stellar-mass black holes, galaxies, and galaxy clusters. Observations are made from spacecraft, notably the Earth-orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA’s Great Observatories, as well as other space-based X-ray telescopes. The division’s scientific studies are directed at a broad range of topics, including cosmology, the structure, interactions, and evolution of astronomical objects, and processes that generate X-ray radiation.  In support of their scientific studies, members of the division use telescopes at all major observatories covering all available wavelengths. Division scientists are working to develop  novel X-ray optics and detectors, funded in part by grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and NASA.  In addition, the Division operates the NASA Astrophysics Data System, the premier digital library of astrophysics publications.  Staff members participate in planning and developing major new X-ray missions, and  currently operate the Chandra X-ray Center, which conducts flight operations and science activities for the Chandra X-ray Observatory.  In solar physics, the Division participated in developing an X-ray telescope for the Japanese Hinode mission and now operates a data center for analyzing Hinode data. Division solar researchers are major participants in the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly investigation on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched in February 2010, and in the IRIS satellite to study the solar atmosphere, while Division scientists are principals in the Solar Wind Electrons Alphas and Protons (SWEAP) investigation for NASA’s future Solar Probe Plus mission to the Sun. In support of its research and educational goals, the Division funds approximately 30 postdoctoral fellows, hosts many visiting scientists, runs two NSF summer  intern programs –  one, in its 17th  year, with a broad focus on astrophysics and a second, in its 3rd year, targeted on solar physics – and conducts extensive education and public outreach activities.

RESEARCH STAFF

ACCOMAZZI, Alberto, Program Manager, Astrophysics Data System Project. Ph.D. (1988) University of Milan. Research specialties: Digital Libraries; Scientific Information Systems; Semantic Web Technologies; Natural Language Processing; Image Analysis and Classification.

ALDCROFT, Thomas L., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1987) California Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (1993) Stanford University. Research specialties: X-ray constraints on the intergalactic medium; quasar absorption line systems; quasar multiwavelength spectral energy distribution.

BRENNEMAN, Laura W., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1999) Williams College; Ph.D. (2007) University of Maryland. Research specialties: X-ray spectroscopy of accretion and outflows in AGN and black hole binaries; studies of black hole spin, coronal physics and absorption signatures in the innermost accretion disk.

BURKE, Douglas, Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1992), M.Sc. (1993) Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (London); Ph.D. (1997) University of Durham. Research specialties: Galaxy clusters; observational cosmology; extragalactic astronomy; Astroinformatics; Semantic Web.

CHYLA, Roman, Information Scientist, Astrophysics Data System Project. M.A. (2003); Ph.D. (2012) Charles University, Prague. Research specialties: Digital Libraries; Scientific Information Systems; Semantic Web Technologies; Natural Language Processing.

D’ABRUSCO, Raffaele, Astrophysicist. Master Degree (2004): University of Napoli “Federico II”; Ph.D. (2007): University of Napoli “Federico II”. Research specialties: multi-wavelength observations of blazars; properties of globular clusters population in external galaxies, galaxy evolution; machine learning
applied to complex/massive astronomical datasets.

DAVID, Laurence P., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1980) Drexel University; M.A. (1983), Ph.D. (1985) Indiana University. Research specialties: Early-Type Galaxies; Groups of Galaxies; Clusters of Galaxies; Cosmology.

DELUCA, Edward E., Supervisory Astrophysicist. B.A. (1979), M.A. (1980) Wesleyan University; Ph.D. (1986) University of Colorado. Research specialties: Solar coronal physics; Astrophysical fluid dynamics; Solar physics; Magnetohydrodynamics; Dynamo theory.

DRAKE, Jeremy J., Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1985) University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; D.Phil. (1989) Brasenose College, Oxford University. Research specialties: Star and planet formation; protoplanetary disks, stellar atmospheres; stellar magnetic activity; element abundances and stellar evolution; novae; extreme ultraviolet and X-ray astronomy.

EDGAR, Richard J., Research Astrophysicist. B.A. (1976) University of Colorado; M.S. (1983), Ph.D. (1985) University of Wisconsin. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; spectroscopy; diffuse soft X-ray background; hot interstellar medium supernova remnants; nonequilibrium ionization solar wind, x-ray instrument calibration.

EDMONDS, Peter D., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1988), Ph.D. (1994) University of Sydney. Research specialties: Globular clusters; compact binaries, especially accreting systems; HST studies of globulars; optical identifications of X-ray sources; X-ray studies of compact binaries; millisecond pulsars; stellar pulsations.

ELVIS, Martin S., Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1973) University of Bristol; M.Sc. (1974) University of Sussex; Ph.D. (1978) University of Leicester. Research specialties: Extragalactic X-ray astronomy, quasars, and active galactic nuclei; large scale multi-waveband surveys (X-ray, uv, ir, mm, and radio) esp. of continuum and lines in quasars; models for quasars, winds from quasars. Asteroids studies to enable human exploration.

EVANS, Ian N., Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1982) University of Western Australia; Ph.D. (1987) Australian National University. Research specialties: Physics of active galactic nuclei, including the impact of nuclear activity on the host galaxy; HII region abundances and physics of the interstellar medium; image-processing algorithms.

FABBIANO, Giuseppina, Senior Astrophysicist. Ph.D. (1973) University of Palermo. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; normal galaxies; populations of X-ray sources in galaxies; silent supermassive black holes; multiwavelength astrophysics archives and data analysis in the Virtual Observatory.

FORMAN, Christine Jones, Astrophysicist. A.B. (1971) Radcliffe College; A.M. (1972), Ph.D. (1974) Harvard University. Research specialties: X-ray observations of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies to determine their mass, structure, and cosmological evolution.

FORMAN, William R., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1969) Haverford College; M.A. (1970), Ph.D. (1973) Harvard University. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; high-energy astrophysics; hot gas in galaxies, galaxy groups, and clusters of galaxies; feedback from supermassive black holes in galaxies.

FRUSCIONE, Antonella, Astrophysicist. Laurea Doctoral Degree (1986) University of Milan; Degree of Advanced Studies (1987) University of Paris. Research specialties: Multiwavelength studies of active galactic nuclei; EUVE and X-ray astronomy; astronomical data analysis.

GAETZ, Terrance, Astrophysicist. S.B. (1977) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.S. (1980), Ph.D. (1985) Cornell University. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; supernova remnants; shock physics (radiative and nonradiative); astrophysical gas dynamics; computational physics and astrophysics.

GARCIA, Michael R., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1978) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (1987) Harvard University. Research specialties: multi-wavelength observations of black holes and neutron stars; X-ray binaries; X-ray instrumentation.

GOLUB, Leon, Senior Astrophysicist. B.S. (1967) City College of New York; Ph.D. (1972) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research specialties: High-resolution X-ray and extreme ultraviolet instrumentation; solar and stellar coronal plasma dynamics and dynamo theory.

GRAESSLE, Dale E., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1981) University of Missouri, Columbia; Ph.D. (1989) University of Wisconsin. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; high-energy astrophysics; AGN spectra; instrument calibration; synchrotron radiation.

GREEN, Paul J., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1981) Oberlin; Ph.D. (1992) University of Washington, Seattle. Research specialties: Extragalactic X-ray astronomy; quasars and AGN; quasar variability; X-ray survey multiwavelength followup; wide separation quasar pairs or lenses; quasar emission and absorption lines; galactic faint halo carbon stars; S stars.

JERIUS, Diab, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1984) Wayne State University; Ph.D. (1992) University of Michigan. Research specialties: Numerical cosmology; galaxy cluster evolution.

 

KASHYAP, Vinay L., Astrophysicist. M.S. (1993), Ph.D. (1994) University of Chicago. Research specialties: Solar and stellar coronae; diffuse X-ray emission; X-ray analysis algorithms.

KIM, Dong-Woo, Astrophysicist. B.A. (1980) Seoul National University; M.A. (1982) Seoul National University, Ph.D. (1988) University of California, Los Angeles. Research specialties: Multi-wavelength study SMITHSONIAN OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESEARCH AND STUDY 2018 | 184 of ISM in Early Type Galaxies; X-ray Astronomy; Normal Galaxies; Identification of Serendipitous X-ray Sources.

KORRECK, Kelly, Astrophysicist. B.S.(1999), M.S. (2002), Ph.D. (2005) University of Michigan. Research specialties: solar magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration, shock physics in supernova remnants and the heliosphere.

KRAFT, Ralph P., Physicist. B.S. (1988) University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D. (1995) Pennsylvania State University. Research specialties: Instrumentation for X-ray astronomy, astrophysical jets, hydrodynamics, galaxy mergers, formation of structure.

 

McCOLLOUGH, Michael L., Archival Astrophysicist. B.S. (1975), M.S. (1981) Auburn University; Ph.D. (1989) Indiana University. Research specialties: X-ray binaries; microquasars; high-energy astrophysics; multi-wavelength studies; X-ray astronomy; gamma-ray astronomy; supernova remnants.

McDOWELL, Jonathan C., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1981), Ph.D. (1987) Cambridge University. Research specialties: Quasars; black holes; multiwaveband studies; astronomical software.

MONTEZ, Rodolfo, Astrophysicist. Ph.D. (2010) Rochester Institute of Technology. Research specialties: Nebulae; late-type evolved stars;interacting binaries; X-ray astronomy; multiwavelength imaging;imaging science.

MOORE, Christopher, Samuel, Astrophysicist. B.S. (2010) University of Iowa; M.S. (2014) University of Colorado Boulder, Ph.D. (2017) University of Colorado Boulder, Research specialties: Solar and stellar coronal physics; magnetic field morphology of the solar photosphere, elemental abundance
determinations in solar and stellar atmospheres, X-ray and UV instrumentation development, UV-Visoptical coating development, Instrument characterization.

NICHOLS, Joy S., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1968), M.S. (1970) Northwestern University; Ph.D. (1992) University of Amsterdam. Research specialties: Interstellar medium; winds of hot stars; high-energy plasma physics.

NULSEN, Paul E.J., Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1975) University of Western Australia; Ph.D. (1980) Cambridge University. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; dynamics and gas dynamics; hot gas in galaxies and clusters; active galactic nuclei.

PATNAUDE, Daniel, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1995) University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Ph.D. (2005) Dartmouth College. Research specialties: Supernova Remnants; ISM Studies; Cosmic Rays; X-ray Astronomy; Computational Physics; Accretion; Supernovae.

PLUCINSKY, Paul P., Astrophysicist. S.B. (1987) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (1993) University of Wisconsin, Madison. Research specialties: Local X-ray background; supernova remnants; Interstellar Medium; Nearby Galaxies; X-ray detectors.

PRESTWICH, Andrea H., Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1984) Queen Mary College, London; M.Sc. (1985) University of Manchester; Ph.D. (1989) Imperial College, London. Research specialties: Multiwavelength studies of clusters of galaxies; extragalactic star formation.

PRIMINI, F., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1972) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. (1977) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research specialties: Observational X-ray astronomy, including number counts and distributions of X-ray source populations in the Milky Way and other similar galaxies; surveys of extragalactic X-ray sources; X-ray binaries; time-series analysis of X-ray sources.

RANDALL, S. W.
, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1997) Wesleyan University; Ph.D (2005) University of Virginia. Research specialties:  X-ray astronomy; high-energy astrophysics; clusters and groups of galaxies; supermassive black hole feedback.

REEVES, Katharine, Astrophysicist. B.A. (1996) Reed College; M.S (1999) Northeastern University; Ph.D. (2006) University of New Hampshire. Research specialties: Modeling and data analysis of solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

REID, Paul B., Senior Astrophysicist. B.A. (1975), M.A. (1977), Ph.D. (1982) Columbia University. Research specialties: X-ray optics.

ROMAINE, Suzanne E., Physicist. B.S. (1974) Michigan State University; S.M. (1986) Harvard University; Ph.D. (1992) Boston University. Research specialties: X-ray optics, deposition of multilayer coatings, thin film coatings, materials science of thin films; low-temperature physics; semiconductor and superconductor device physics.

SAAR, Steven H., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1980) Northwestern University; Ph.D. (1987) University of Colorado. Research specialties: Solar/stellar magnetic fields, dynamos, and related activity; stellar rotation, convection, and surface features; detection of extrasolar planets.

SCHWARTZ, Daniel A., Senior Physicist. B.S. (1963) Washington University (St. Louis); M.S. (1966), Ph.D. (1969) University of California, San Diego. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and Extragalactic Jets; Observational Cosmology; X-ray mirror and detector instrumentation.

SIEMIGINOWSKA, Aneta L., Astrophysicist. M.S. (1985) University of Warsaw; Ph.D. (1991) Copernicus Astronomical Center, Poland. Research specialties: Physics of Active Galaxies and Quasars. Evolution of Radio Galaxies. X-ray emission associated with relativistic outflows. Astrostatistics.

SLANE, Patrick O., Astrophysicist. B.S.E. (1977) University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; M.S. (1983) University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ph.D. (1988) University of Wisconsin, Madison. Research specialties: Galactic X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy; supernova remnants; pulsar wind nebulae; young neutron stars

SLAVIN, Jonathan David, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1984) Georgetown University; Ph.D. (1990) University of Wisconsin. Research specialties: Theories of the interstellar medium (ISM), especially local ISM (including our local interstellar cloud) and interactions of hot gas and cooler gas; supernova remnant (SNR) evolution; interstellar dust; X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared observations of SNRs and the hot ISM; intracluster medium in rich clusters.

SMITH, Randall K., Astrophysicist. B.S (1991) Carnegie Mellon University; Ph.D (1996) University of Wisconsin. Research specialties: X-ray Astronomy: Interstellar Medium, Interstellar Dust, Galaxy Clusters; Atomic Physics: Theoretical Calculations, X-ray Spectroscopy.

Tananbaum, Harvey D., Senior Astrophysicist; B.A. (1964) Yale University; Ph.D. (1968) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; quasars

TESTA, Paola, Astrophysicist. Laurea in Physics (2001), PhD (2005) University of Palermo. Research specialties: Solar and stellar coronal physics; stellar magnetic activity; modeling of coronal loops; X-ray astronomy.

VIKHLININ, Alexey A., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1993) Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; Ph.D. (1995) Russian Space Research Institute. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; clusters of galaxies.

VRTILEK, Jan M., Astrophysicist. B.A. (1975) University of Wisconsin; A.M. (1976), Ph.D. (1983) Harvard University. Research specialties: Clusters and groups of galaxies; X-ray astronomy; astronomical instrumentation.

VRTILEK, Saeqa Dil, Senior Astrophysicist. B.S. (1975) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.A. (1979) Brandeis University; Ph.D. (1985), M.Phil. (1985) Columbia University. Research specialties: Optical tomography of X-ray binaries; physics of accretion disks and jets; multiwavelength studies of X-ray binaries and planetary nebulae; science education/public outreach; 3d modeling and classification of XRBs.

WARGELIN, Bradford, Astrophysicist. S.B. (1985) Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D. (1993) University of California, Berkeley. Research specialties: Laboratory X-ray astrophysics: high-resolution spectroscopy, electron impact excitation, and charge exchange; stellar coronae; solar wind charge exchange and soft X-ray background; calibration of X-ray instrumentation.

WEBER, Mark, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1991) Harvey Mudd College; M.S. (1995), Ph.D. (1999) Montana State University. Research specialties: Coronal differential rotation; large-scale structure of corona; magnetic loop models; variation of solar neutrino flux.

WILKES, Belinda J., Senior Astrophysicist; Director, Chandra X-ray Center. B.Sc.(Hons)(1978) St. Andrews University; Ph.D. (1982) Cambridge University. Research specialties: X-ray and multifrequency studies of quasi-stellar objects including powerful 3CRR radio sources; Multi-wavelength surveys (ChaMP,SWIRE).

WOLK, Scott J., Astrophysicist. A.B. (1988) Cornell University; Ph.D. (1996) State University of New York, Stony Brook. Research specialties: Multiwavelength studies of regions of star formation; Evolution of young stars; Stellar flares; Stellar disks; Brown dwarfs; X-ray astronomy; X-ray studies of exoplanets, planets and comets; Next generation of X-ray telescopes.

ZHAO, Ping, Astrophysicist. B.S. (1981) Peking University; Ph.D. (1986) Yale University. Research specialties: High Energy Astrophysics: X-ray telescopes and their mirrors; multi-wavelength studies of X-ray binaries; black holes; neutron stars; Atomic physics: atomic beams; laser physics; high precision measurements.

ZUHONE, John A., Astrophysicist. B.S. (2002) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ph.D. (2009) University of Chicago. Research specialties: magnetohydrodynamics simulations and X-ray observations of clusters of galaxies; development of software for astrophysical research.

AFFILIATED RESEARCH STAFF

BRISSENDEN, Roger J., Deputy Director, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Manager, Chandra X-ray Center. B.S. (1985) University of Adelaide; Ph.D. (1989) Australian National University. Research specialties: Multiwavelength studies of active galactic nuclei; BL Lac objects; Science Center and Mission Operations.

GAENSLER, Bryan M., Research Associate, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. B.Sc. (1993), Hons Class I (1994), Ph.D. (1998) University of Sydney. Research specialties: Neutron stars; supernova remnants; supernovae; the interstellar medium; magnetic fields; shocks; turbulence; the Magellanic Clouds; radio polarimetry; interferometry; high energy astrophysics; history of astronomy.

GRINDLAY, Jonathan E., Robert Treat Paine Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University. A.B. (1966) Dartmouth College; A.M. (1969), Ph.D. (1971) Harvard University. Research specialties: High energy astrophysics; X-ray observations and models of compact Objects in binaries in globular clusters; active galaxies; gamma-ray bursts; development of hard X-ray imaging detectors and telescopes; time domain astrophysics and surveys.

KELLOGG, Edwin M., Astrophysicist. B.S. (1960) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.S. (1963), Ph.D. (1966) University of Pennsylvania. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; clusters of galaxies; symbiotic stars; X-ray instrumentation.

LEE, Julia C., Astrophysicist; Assistant Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University. B.S. (1994) University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D. (1999) Cambridge University. Research specialties: Multi-wavelength (primarily X-ray) spectroscopic studies of energetic accretion systems (X-ray binaries, AGN); interstellar dust composition studies through laboratory experiments and space-based observations.

MATTISON, Edward M., Physicist. B.S. (1963) Queens College of the City University of New York; Ph.D. (1974) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research specialties: Hydrogen masers; high-stability frequency standards.

MURRAY, Stephen S., Senior Astrophysicist. B.S. (1965) Columbia University; Ph.D. (1971) California Institute of Technology. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; Clusters of Galaxies, Active Galactic Nuclei, Supernova Remnents, Large Area Surveys;space physics; single-photon-counting detection systems; information systems; detectors, optics, and interferometry.

SEWARD, Frederick D, Astrophysicist. AB (1953) Princeton University; PhD (1958) University of Rochester. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; Supernova remnants; Neutron Stars.

TUCKER, Wallace H., Astrophysicist, Senior Theoretician. B.S. (1961), M.S. (1962) University of Oklahoma; Ph.D. (1966) University of California. Research specialties: High-energy astrophysics.

VAN DEN BERG, Maureen, Research Associate, Harvard College Observatory. Ph.D. (2001) Utrecht University. Research specialties: Galactic X-ray source populations; X-ray sources in old open clusters, globular clusters, Galactic center and bulge; X-ray and optical/infrared studies of interacting binaries; compact binaries.

ZEZAS, Andreas, Astrophysicist. B.Sc. (1997) University of Patras, Greece; Ph.D. (2000) University of Leicester, United Kingdom. Research specialties: X-ray astronomy; discrete X-ray sources in galaxies; X-ray binaries, supernova remnants; multiwavelength observations of galaxies; galaxy interactions; low-luminosity active galactic nuclei.