- 26 August 2016:
Graduate student Seth Cohen successfully defended his PhD thesis, on "Substructure and Star Formation in Galaxy Clusters". Congratulations Seth!
- 12 August 2016:
This week our group hosted the latest Dartmouth-Durham international workshop, on "The Hidden Monsters: Obscured AGN and Connections to Galaxy Evolution in the Era of NuSTAR and WISE". Approximately 100 AGN researchers from around the world (shown at right) came to Hanover to discuss studies of obscured AGN. A very exciting week for all!
- 26 July 2016:
This week I traveled to Cambridge, MA to attend the first meeting of the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) for X-ray Surveyor, a NASA mission concept study for the 2020 Decadal Survey. I am co-chairing the Science Working Group on the Evolution of Structure and AGN populations.
- 18 July 2016:
The Chandra Deep Wide-Field Survey (PI: Hickox, with an international team of Co-Is) has been approved as a Large Program for Chandra Cycle 18. CDWFS is a 1 million second program (the largest in this year's cycle) that will map a deep, wide area in the Bootes extragalactic survey field.
- 3 July 2016: Our research group, including graduate students Mackenzie Jones and Chris Carroll as well as undergraduates Parker Gardner '17, Meg Lane 17', and Raphael Hviding '18 traveled to Garching, Germany to present results at the workshop on "AGN: What's in a Name?" at the European Southern Observatory.
- 5 May 2016: Graduate student Mackenzie Jones's paper on the intrinsic Eddington ratio distribution of narrow-line AGN in the SDSS survey, has been accepted to The Astrophysical Journal. Congratulations!
- 25 March 2016: Our group's paper on the narrow-line regions of a pair of merging AGN, led by former postdoc Kevin Hainline and using data from MDM Observatory, has been accepted to The Astrophysical Journal.
- 14 January 2016: I am delighted have been awarded an Faculty Early-Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation. This highly competitive award, with anticipated funding of $672,000 over five years, will fund research by our group on "The Hidden Monsters: Cosmic Evolution of Obscured Supermassive Black Holes" and will support our AstroConnect program connecting scientists to classrooms via video chat.
For more group news see the news archive.
research group and opportunities
I am an observational astrophysicist, with interests in active galactic nuclei, galaxy evolution, large-scale structure of the Universe, the cosmic X-ray background, and X-ray binary stars. My work uses data from the Chandra, XMM-Newton, Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel, and WISE space telescopes as well as ground-based optical, infrared, and radio observations.
I joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Professor in December 2011. My research is generously funded by the NSF, NASA, and previously by an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. My full CV is here. I am looking for interested and motivated students to take part in an exciting research program.
Current research group members:
black holes, dark matter halos, and the
evolution of galaxies
Much of our research focuses on the interplay between the growth of galaxies, their parent dark matter halos, and the central supermassive black holes. A remarkable success in astrophysics in the past decade has been the emergence of a physical framework for how galaxies form and evolve over the history of the Universe. Our work explores some interesting and perhaps unexpected elements of this picture: how the gravitational potential of the dark matter halos that surround galaxies, as well as the energy released by growing supermassive black holes at their centers, can profoundly influence the physical state of interstellar gas and the formation of stars. We are just starting to explore these processes in detail with observations, thanks to powerful new telescopes and multiwavelength surveys.
For an extensive review of black hole and galaxy evolution research motivated by our 2010 workshop in Durham on What Drives the Growth of Black Holes?, see our review article (Alexander & Hickox 2012) in New Astronomy Reviews.
For a brief overview of this field geared toward a more general audience, see Supermassive Black Holes and the Growth of Galaxies, which appeared in the UK magazine The Astronomer in March/April 2011.
Click here for more details on the research program and links to publications.
CDFS stacked rest-frame spectra
As part of a Chandra archive data analysis program (SP8-9001), we have extracted rest-frame X-ray spectra for all sources with robust spectroscopic redshifts in the 4 Ms Chandra Deep Field South. For publicly available cleaned event files and spectra click here.