• 22 April 2015: Chien-Ting Chen has successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled "Supermassive Black Hole Accretion and Connections to Star Formation in Galaxies". He will be moving to Penn State this summer for a postdoctoral position with Prof. Niel Brandt focusing on data from NuSTAR. Congratulations Dr. Chen!

  • 18 April 2015: Graduate student Seth Cohen's paper on star formation and structure in galaxy clusters using SDSS and WISE data has been accepted to The Astrophysical Journal. Congratulations to Seth on accepting a position as a teacher of Astronomy and Physics at St. Paul's School in Concord, NH.

  • 13 April 2015: Undergraduate Tom Whalen '14 (currently at the Chandra X-ray Center) has had his paper on X-ray emission from the dwarf starburst galaxy Henize 2-10 (right, image courtesy NASA/CXC) accepted to The Astrophysical Journal.

  • 20 Jan 2015: Graduate student and Neukom Graduate Fellow Chien-Ting Chen's paper on the connection between star formation and dust obscuration in quasars has been accepted by The Astrophysical Journal.

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 an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and for 2014-15 I will be the Dartmouth Class of 1962 Faculty Fellow. 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 the workshop in Durham on What Drives the Growth of Black Holes?, see our review article (Alexander & Hickox 2012) to appear 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.

AGN vs. Star Formation: The Fate of the Gas in Galaxies

My group co-organized an international workshop on the relationship between AGN activity and star formation in galaxies. The workshop was held in Durham, United Kingdom from 28 July to 1 August 2014. Information on the workshop is available at the workshop website. The workshop was a collaboration between Dartmouth and Durham University as part of the Matariki Network of Universities.

Black Hole Feedback 2012

In summer 2012 we hosted an international workshop on AGN titled "Black Hole Feedback 2012: What is the role of AGN in the evolution of galaxies?", along with colleagues at Durham as part of the Matariki Network. The workshop was held at Dartmouth from 30 July to 3 August 2012. Information on the workshop, including talk videos and slides, is available at the workshop website.

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.

Ryan C. Hickox
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

Office: 241 Wilder Laboratory
Phone: +1 (603) 646-2962

Last Updated: 24 April 2015
Banner Image: courtesy of Chandra X-ray Center