News & Events

  • Title: "Pushing Einstein's Boundaries: Gravitational Approaches to the Challenges of Modern Cosmology" (Video)

    Abstract: Einstein’s general theory of relativity (GR) is one of the most successful and well-tested physical theories ever developed. Nevertheless, modern cosmology poses a range of questions, from the smallest scales to the largest, that remain currently unresolved by GR coupled to...

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  • Title: "Quanta Image Sensor: Every Photon Counts" (Video)

    Abstract:  About 10 years after the invention of the CMOS image sensor at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early 1990’s, I was asked to write a book chapter on the future of digital still cameras. I proposed a binary, photon-counting image sensor now called the Quanta Image Sensor. It was a sort of wild idea at the time, but somewhat...

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  • The Fundamental Laws of Physics have not changed, but Robyn Millan has transformed Physics 13 as part of the Gateway Course Redesign Initiative. You can read more about it at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning.

  • Have you ever wanted to build your own nail gun? Have you wondered why fluorescent light bulbs randomly flicker before they fail? These are examples of the problems six Dartmouth students will answer at the International Physicists’ Tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden from April 8 – 13, 2017. Sam Greydanus ’17 will present his work on why a chain will “walk” if a short impulse is applied to a long chain spinning around a horizontal axis. Margaret Lane ’17 has been popping popcorn to determine...

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  • In a cataclysmic binary, a more-or-less normal star orbits a white dwarf so closely that matter spills from the normal star onto the white dwarf. A rich variety of behaviors results -- nova explosions, dwarf nova outbursts, accretion disk precession, magnetic channeling of the accretion flows, and much more. The light grasp and instrumentation at MDM Observatory are well-suited to studies of these objects. For decades now, we have used these facilities to characterize the cataclysmic binary...

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  • Stellar Population research is conducted to study the early formation history of our Milky Way galaxy and nearby satellite galaxies. Computational stellar models are compared to observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and other optical/infrared telescopes to determine the ages of stars.

    FACULTY CONTACT: Brian Chaboyer

  • We are part of a team that has discovered a population of extreme starburst galaxies with star formation densities millions of times higher than in our Milky Way. These galaxies are associated with winds being launched at thousands of km/s into the intergalactic medium, and appear to represent the most extreme possible conditions for star formation in the Universe. Our team is using a combination of optical, X-ray, and IR observations with Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and WISE, along with...

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  • One idea for the formation of supermassive black holes is that they grew from lower-mass "seeds" that formed in the first generation of galaxies in the early Universe. In this scenario, some such seed black holes should remain today and provide a "fossil" record of the early cosmic formation of black holes. We are studying a candidate "intermediate-mass" black hole in a nearby dwarf starburst galaxy, using X-ray observations with the Chandra, XMM-Newton, and ASCA observatories, to help...

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  • The luminous radiation from growing supermassive black holes (known as "active galactic nuclei" or "AGN") is effective at photoionizing the gas clouds in the host galaxy, producing huge ionized nebulae (or "narrow-line regions") glowing like fluorescent lamps that are thousands of light-years across. We are investigating the physical processes that form these nebulae, by measuring their physical sizes using optical spectroscopy from the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and MDM...

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  • In the past decade it has become increasingly clear that the cosmic evolution of galaxies is linked to the growth of their central supermassive black holes, but the nature of this connection remains poorly understood. We are using various techniques, including groundbreaking far-infrared observations from the Herschel Space Observatory, to measure the rate at which galaxies form stars, and connect this to measures of black hole accretion from Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space...

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