Assistant Research Professor
From NASA's Imagine the Universe Web Site, an artist's conception of a powerful gamma-ray burst (GRB) being viewed by NASA's groundbreaking Swift mission. GRBs have fascinated high energy astrophysicists for three decades, and have formed a major focus of our research efforts, with specific emphases on afterglow observations, modeling particle acceleration in bursts, jet collimation, and interpreting their radiative signatures. They also serve as principal science drivers for future X-ray and gamma-ray space initiatives such as NASA's GLAST mission and future advanced Compton telescopes, which along with Swift, have significant participation from Physics and Astronomy's High Energy Astrophysics group.
A melange of the optical (Hubble Space Telescope) and X-ray (Chandra X-ray Observatory) images of the Crab pulsar wind nebula, obtained from two of NASA's premier astronomical observatories. The Crab pulsar system epitomizes much of the research engaged in by the High Energy Astrophysics group at Rice, sampling plasma physics, jet phenomena, particle acceleration, neutron star electrodynamics and radiative physics, and nebular emission. The study of the Crab encapsulates a rich diversity of subdisciplines in physics, including relativity, quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and plasma physics.