Prof Philip D Mauskopf


e: Philip.Mauskopf@Cardiff.ac.uk
t: 029 208 -
w: http://www.astro.cardiff.ac.uk/contactsandpeople/?page=full&id=250

I received my PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997 (Graduate supervisor Andrew Lange). I then immediately started my own research group at the University of Massachusetts where I began to develop a new generation of cameras and instruments for millimeter-wave astronomy. In 2000, I joined the newly formed astronomical instrumentation group at Cardiff as a Senior Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow. During the past several years at Cardiff, I have helped to establish Cardiff''s Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) in the School of Physics and Astronomy as a world leader in millimeter and submillimetre-wavelength instrumentation. This reputation is based on Cardiff''s experience and capabilities in both designing and integrating new instruments and developing new basic technologies. In particular, I established and now lead the Space Terahertz Detector Technology Development Group within the AIG. I was promoted to Reader in 2004 and to Professor in 2007. My research consists of two linked themes: cosmology at millimeter-submillimetre wavelengths and the technology development to support astronomical measurements at these wavelengths. The science of cosmology addresses fundamental questions about the history and evolution of the universe. Clues to the answers to these questions can be obtained by measuring anisotropies in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) that constitute the seeds of structure formation, and by studying the formation and evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters. The discovery of anisotropies in the CMB by the COBE satellite in the early 1990s (awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics) was of fundamental importance as a confirmation of the basic premise that structures in the universe today emerged from small variations in the density present in the primordial universe. The detailed characteristics of the CMB anisotropies have the potential to reveal a wealth of information such as the overall density and composition of matter in the universe and its ultimate fate. I have played a leading role in some of the most significant ongoing experiments in millimeter/submillimetre-wave cosmology in recent years such as BOOMERANG, Clover, Bolocam/AzTEC and BLAST. These experiments have started to revolutionise the field of cosmology and established what is now known as the era of precision cosmology''. The BOOMERANG project, is an international collaboration with groups in the USA, Canada, Italy and the UK directed towards imaging the CMB using a balloon-borne millimeter-wave telescope. In April, 2000, BOOMERANG released the first detailed images of the CMB taken during a balloon flight from Antarctica in 1998/99 (B98). The B98 images resolved the temperature anisotropies for the first time with high signal to noise over a large region of the sky with a 50 times improvement in resolution over the COBE maps. The observed structures gave the first precise measurement of the large scale geometry of the universe showing that space as a whole is very close to flat (Mauskopf, et al., 2000, DeBernardis, et al., 2000) and provided strong evidence that the universe today is permeated by a combination of dark matter and dark energy. These results were reported on the front page of newspapers all over the world. In 2003, the BOOMERANG telescope had its second successful long duration balloon flight from Antarctica, B03, this time equipped with instruments designed to characterise not only the anisotropies in the intensity of the CMB, but also in the polarization which can give complementary information about the early universe to the temperature anisotropies. The next major challenge for CMB studies is to measure the even fainter B-mode polarization anisotropies that are generated by gravitational waves. Over the next few years, a new experiment called Clover, designed and built in the UK, will have the necessary sensitivity to constrain and possibly detect the primordial gravitational waves that are a relic of the particle physics of the very early universe. Clover is a collaboration between Cardiff, Cambridge, Oxford and Manchester and the project is now well under way. The history of structure formation since the initial fluctuations present in the CMB can be studied with surveys of galaxy clusters and star-forming galaxies. Bolocam/AzTEC is a collaboration between Cardiff, Colorado, Caltech, UMass and INAOE (Mexico) to build large-format millimeter-wave cameras designed to perform surveys of mm-wave emission from galactic dust in high redshift galaxies where the emission at other wavelengths is too weak to detect. I began the Bolocam project as overall PI while at UMass and have continued as UK PI since 2001. The first Bolocam instrument was completed in 2001 and the Bolocam team has led numerous observing runs at Caltech Submillimetre Observatory (CSO) in Hawaii. These observations have led to several papers on surveys of the distant universe (Laurent, et al., 2005, Maloney, et al., 2006) and of the distribution of protstellar masses in nearby star forming clouds in our own Galaxy (Enoch, et al., Young, et al., 2006). In June, 2005 we began integration and testing of a second Bolocam instrument (now called AzTEC) on the JCMT telescope in Hawaii. This instrument was assembled at UMass and is destined for use on the Large Millimetre-wave Telescope (LMT) in Mexico, a 50 metre telescope currently in the final phases of construction. Cardiff PhD students supported the integration and observations with AzTEC during a successful 2-month run in November 2005 - January 2006 and we are now working on the analysis of the resulting images. Finally, my group has been working towards the development of new types of cryogenic sensors and detectors for millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths in collaborations with Cambridge, SRON (the Netherlands), Moscow, Sweden, Finland and Italy. The types of detectors being developed include Transition Edge Superconducting (TES) bolometers, Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs), Hot and Cold Electron Bolometers (HEBs, CEBs) with micro-refrigerators and single-photon counting superconducting hot-spot detectors (SSPDs). The main area of this research is concentrated on TES bolometers and is a key programme supported on the Cardiff AIG rolling grant funded by PPARC since 2002.

Prof Philip D Mauskopf is (or has formerly been) affiliated with Cardiff University, Cardiff-imaging-sensors-and-instrumentation-cardiff-university, Cardiff-theory-and-computational-physics-cardiff-university and Condensed Matter and Photonics Group, Cardiff University.

Areas of Expertise

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