Some Scientific Results (...with students and colleagues)

Gravity Physics and Dynamics:

Our understanding of gravity is almost certainly incomplete -- astrophysical systems can teach us more about gravity

  • - First demonstration of significant cosmic large-scale filamentary galaxy structure.
  • - Developed astrophysical constraints on modified gravity theories.
  • - Developed the theory of dynamic gravitational tides for explaining Dwarf Spheroidal galaxy observables.
  • - Measured diffuse galaxy cluster light for detecting dynamical friction.
  • - Measured galaxy cluster alignment and developed a dynamic tide model of the observed galaxy alignment.
  • - Developed solar oscillation measurements for constraining cosmological gravitational background radiation and intermediate-scale gravity theories.

Physics of the Sun:

The Sun (more than any astrophysical object) affects life on Earth yet, despite its proximity, it's dark energy and dark matter are cosmic mysteries

  • - Achieved most accurate measurements of the solar oblateness and limits on solar radius variability.
  • - First measurement of the 1-2 micron infrared spectrum of the solar corona
  • - Discovery of the 3.98 mcron SiIX coronal emission line.
  • - First measurement of a coronal "magnetogram".
  • - Discovery of Rossby waves on the Sun.
  • - Discovery of the relationship between helioseismic and photometric variability during the solar cycle.
  • - Discovery of H2 molecule dynamics on the structure of the cool solar photosphere.
  • - Developed a "delayed oscillator model" to account for solar activity phase stability.

Circumstellar Environment:

Tools we developed for the circumsolar environment are being applied to learn about nearby stellar environments

  • - First high-sensitivity dual-beam polarimetric circumstellar disk detection
  • - Discovered the low-temperature diffuse neutral helium halo in the solar corona.
  • - Discovered and explained "absorptive linear polarization" in circumstellar absorption lines.
  • - Demonstrated a theory for optical-pumping-circumstellar-imaging in imbedded stellar environments.

Exo-biology:

We're on the verge of applying astrophysical tools to answer existential questions

  • - Developed remote sensing algorithms for detecting advanced exo-life
  • - Developed optical concepts for exoplanet optical biomarker detection

RESEARCH SUPPORT ($14M/10 years)

2014 - 2017 Using Linear Spectropolarimetry of Neutral Species and IR Forbidden Lines for Coronal Vector Magnetometry, NSF, co-PI
2013 Colossus Telescope: 75m interferometric multi-mirror optical system design, thin mirror technology development, PI, Colossus Ltd.
2013 - 2015 Precision solar shape studies using HMI, PI, NASA
2009 - 2019 Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (now DKIST), Co-PI, NSF
2011 - 2017 Cryogenic Near-Infrared Spectro-Polarimeter for DKIST, PI, NSF
2010 - 2017 PLANETS Telescope: 1.85m off-axis design & construction, research contract with Tohoku Univ.,Japan, PI
2010 - 2017 PLANETS Telescope support, Trent and Co. Foundation, PI
2005 - now HiVIS Support Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) 3.6m telescope, Air Force PI
2009 - 2011 Adaptive Optics and speckle system at Advanced Electro-Optical System (AEOS) 3.6m telescope, Air Force, co-PI
2005 - 2013 High-resolution Visual Spectropolarimeter (HiVIS) for AEOS, US Air Force, PI
2005 Precision metrology and IR instrumentation, DURIP, US Air Force, PI
2009 - 2013 Akamai Workforce Initiative, Co-PI, NSF and AFOSR
2006 - 2010 SOLARC: Largest off-axis coronagraph telescope, design & construction, NASA, PI