- 14 June 2018: Our upcoming review article, Hickox & Alexander 2018, "Obscured Active Galactic Nuclei", to appear in Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 56, is now available on the arXiv. An animated version of Figure 4, showing a schematic of AGN spectral energy distributions, is available here.
- 29 May 2018: Undergraduates Emily Golitzin '18 and Raphael Hviding '18 have successfully completed the defense of their Senior Honors Theses, both on spectroscopic studies of ionized gas regions in obscured AGN. Congratulations to both! And good luck to Raphael next year in graduate school at Arizona.
- 23 May 2018: Nine members of our group, including five graduate students and undergrad Emily Golitzin '18, traveled to Yale University to present at the 2018 New England Regional Quasar and AGN Meeting. Thanks to our colleagues at Yale for a stimulating and enjoyable day!
- 1 May 2018: Graduate student Mackenzie Jones has completed the defense of her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Where Do AGN Hide? Uncovering the Full Population of Growing Black Holes and their Host Galaxies and Halos". Congratulations Mackenzie!
- 23 April 2018: Graduate student McKinley Brumback has been awarded time on the X-ray space observatories NuSTAR and XMM-Newton for new observations of the X-ray pulsar Hercules X-1. Congratulations!
- 20 April 2018: A number of members of our group have been awarded AAS Intenational Travel grants to travel to the UK for the Dartmouth-Durham workshop on "Are AGN Special?" that we are co-organizing with our colleagues in Durham this summer.
- 12 December 2017: Graduate student McKinley Brumback has had her paper on NuSTAR observations of of the X-ray pulsar SAX J2103.5+4545 accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. Congratulations McKinley!
- 12 December 2017: Undergraduate Raphael Hviding '18 was featured in a news article on the Dartmouth homepage for his work using SALT. The article also highlighted research by graduate student Meridith Joyce, who is completing her PhD with Prof. Brian Chaboyer and is collaborating with Dr. Shazrene Mohamed from the South African Astronomical Observatory.
- 12 November 2017: Graduate student Mackenzie Jones has won honorable mention for the Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize for the AAS Annual Meeting, where she will be presenting her Dissertation Talk. This is an extremely competitive award and great recognition of her work.
- 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.
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.