- 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.
- 10 January 2016: Chris Carroll, McKinley Brumback, and Raphael Hviding '18 traveled to MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak in Arizona for a five-night run on the 2.4-meter Hiltner telescope, to observe ionized regions of interstellar gas around active galactic nuclei.
- 9 December 2015: Prof. Ryan Hickox had the great privilege of giving a talk on "The Hidden Monsters: Obscured AGN in the era of Chandra, NuSTAR, and WISE" at part of the Steve Murray seminar series (in memory of our mentor and collaborator Dr. Steve Murray) in the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
- 15 November 2015: Postdoc Mike DiPompeo's paper on clustering and CMB lensing of WISE-selected quasars has been accepted to MNRAS. The latest set of papers on the NuSTAR Extragalactic Survey program have also been posted to arXiv (COSMOS catalog, ECDFS catalog, number counts, luminosity function).
- 12 November 2015: We successfully held our first order-of-magnitude estimation workshop (funded by the National Science Foundation) for 14 teachers from New Hampshire, Vermont, and Wyoming. Details and resources are available here.
- 15 October 2015: As part of our AstroConnect program, which brings astronomers into classrooms via video chat discussions, Prof. Hickox is delighted to be collaborating with Connect with STEM, serving as a Connector for Bronx Charter School for the Arts for the 2015-16 school year.
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 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.