Opportunities for New Graduate Students

Rotation and permanent research positions are available. You are welcomed to contact the group leader Prof. Elliott Bloom or graduate students (Daniel Engovatov, Michael Hicks, Pablo Saz Parkinson, Kaice Reilly) if you have any questions.


Group K built, calibrated and tested the collimators, designed and constructed the mechanical support structure and contributed to the ground testing and calibration of the instrument for the Unconventional Stellar Aspect (USA) X-ray proportional counter based experiment, which was launched February 23, 1999 on the Air Force Argos Satellite. The determination and modeling of the detector dead-time, the space-based instrument calibration and the scientific analysis of much of the resulting high-resolution timing data on black holes and neutron stars are other responsibilities that are engaging Group K graduate students. For more information about the pre-launch USA effort, see Han Wen’s Stanford Ph. D. Thesis, SLAC R-514 (1997).

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Several graduate students in Group K have worked on data obtained through the Guest Observer program on NASA’s RXTE satellite. Ganya Shabad has been working with members of Dr. Jean Swank's PCA team to understand details of the RXTE deadtime corrections for cross-calibration with USA. RXTE was launched in 1995 and has been concentrated on obtaining high time resolution data from black holes and neutron stars in binary systems. A paper analyzing the high-time resolution data from RXTE and HEAO A-1 on the black hole candidate Cyg X-1 has recently been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal about some of this work. It is available through: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/9901131

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The largest current effort underway in Group K is preparation for the new Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) mission. Group K scientists are involved in all phases of the GLAST mission including detector and electronics development, mechanical and thermal engineering studies, and scientific definition. Many opportunities exist for new students to work on this project, currently scheduled to be launched in 2005.

GLAST will open up new frontiers in high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, as it has sensitivity more than 30 times greater and source localization accuracy about 10 times better than its predecessor, the CGRO/EGRET experiment. GLAST is expected to study over 1000 blazars, active-galaxies with relativistic jets emanating from super-massive black holes that emit violently variable high-energy gamma-radiation. It may also be able to detect evidence for supersymmetric particle annihilation in the galaxy, and to study the mysterious gamma-ray bursters at high-energies.

For more information about the involvement of Group K and other Stanford collaborators in GLAST, see: http://www-glast.stanford.edu

For information on GLAST in general, see: http://www-glast.sonoma.edu

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Updated 03/08/05 by C. Hall

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