Oct2018; NSERC-Engage awarded to study Avalanche Photo-Diode detectors for use in Adaptive Optics Systems
July2017; GIRMOS spectrograph $15M CFI grant awarded: building the worlds first multi-object, adaptive optics fed, spectrograph for the Gemini telescope.
Tim Miller receives Killam and NSERC graduate awards - congratulations Tim!
Kaja Rotermund receives NSERC PhD award - congratulations Kaja!
Kevin Lacaille receives NSInnovation MSc award - congratulations Kevin!
Research in astrophysics and cosmology:
Infrared and Submillimetre-wave instrumentation,
Distant Submm Galaxies and ULIRGs,
CMB lensing / B-mode polarisation
Local Group Archeaology/ Near-field cosmology
I am currently seeking students to work on a range of exciting projects in astrophysics, cosmology, and instrumentation. Major projects include the Gemini Telescope GIRMOS spectrograph (top and 2nd from top), the POLARBEAR CMB polarization experiment (Middle), the CCAT submillimeter telescope project, the South Pole Telescope SPT (bottom 2 panels).
Our group studies and models distant, ultra-luminous "submillimeter galaxies" using data from a large range of telescope facilities. We work on instrumentation, primarily the Adaptive Optics system for the GIRMOS spectrograph to go to the Gemini telescope in 2023.
We also pursue the design, fabrication and characterization of superconducting detectors (bolometers), as well as opto-mechanical devices, primarily for use in cosmological and astrophysical surveys at (sub-)millimetre wavelengths. We are involved in the analysis of cosmological datasets using distant galaxy clusters and the CMB. We also dissect our neighbour galaxy, Andromeda (M31) star by star to uncover its earliest formation events in the distant past - Local Group Cosmology.
There are key opportunities in our group for observational work in astronomy, as well as for laboratory-based MSc and PhD degrees. These may involve near-infrared Adaptive Optics work, or sub-millimeter instrumentation. The research brings together lab detector development, camera integration and commissioning on telescopes in Hawaii on Mauna Kea, and in Chile high in the Atacama desert, and applications to surveys of large (>100 square deg) regions of the sky for both cosmology and astrophysical experiments.
Using mature technology, superconducting Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers, our collaborations are developing detectors with on-chip multi-chroic capabilities for advanced millimeter wavelength cameras, as well as spectrographs. Researchers leaving our group will be well positioned to innovate in the development of opto-mechanical and advanced lithographed devices in a university, national lab, or industrial setting. This technology has applications for astronomy from millimeter through X-ray wavelengths as well as for the direct detection of dark matter with cooled phonon detectors such as the Cold Dark Matter Search.
Other applications include medical THz imaging and gamma-ray detectors for homeland security by adapting these techniques to "nuclear fingerprinting." The continued development of advanced multiplexing techniques for large-format TES bolometer arrays is a critical enabling technology for a broad range of challenging experimental programs.