- 1 July 2017: Prof. Ryan Hickox has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, and was awarded Dartmouth's Wetterhahn Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarly or Creative Achievement. This is a nice recognition of the excellent work by all the members of our research group and collaborators around the world.
- 15 June 2017: Six members of our research group traveled to George Mason University in Virginia for a conference on Elusive AGN in the Next Era. The conference was well-organized by our colleagues Shobita Satyapal and Nathan Secrest, and we had an engaging and enjoyable week!
- 7 June 2017: Congratulations to graduate student Mackenzie Jones, who has been awarded First Prize by the Neukom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research in Computational Science for 2017, sponsored by Dartmouth's Neukom Institute. This is well-deserved recognition for her excellent thesis research.
- 22 May 2017: Undergraduate Meg Lane '17 successfully defended her honors thesis on "X-ray Spectral Modeling of Obscured AGN with Torus Models and Comparison to Mid-IR Emission". Congratulations Meg on her excellent thesis work and on graduation!
- 27 April 2017: Graduate students from our group recently presented their work at the Dartmouth Graduate Poster Session. Congratulations to McKinley Brumback (right), who received one of five awards for her poster on studies of X-ray pulsars with NuSTAR and XMM.
- 7 February 2017: Prof. Ryan Hickox was recently elected as a member of the American Astronomical Society Nominating Committee, which prepares slates of candidates for AAS offices. It will be a privilege to serve our professional society.
- 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!
- 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.
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.