Research

Sample Photo

Research


Instrumentation:


       
  • I am involved in the characterization of the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES), which is crucial for commissioning and science deployment on SOFIA. This work includes hardware and software testing, in addition to analyzing different characteristics of the instrument, such as throughput of the system and linearization of the detector. The first round of EXES commissioning will take place during April 2014.

  • Link to poster presented on EXES: The Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph for SOFIA (presented at the 2nd Annual NASA Ames Science Symposium, March 2014).


       

  • I led the work on the characterization of the Hawaii2-RG detector for MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer For InfraRed Exploration). I also worked on the development of the detector system. I have focused my research on measuring the read noise, linearity, dark current, gain setting, and the persistence of the MOSFIRE detector, as well as determining the best voltage settings for our system. MOSFIRE was commissioned during the Spring of 2012 and is now fully operational at the Keck Observatory.

  • Link to paper on the Performance of the HgCdTe Detector for MOSFIRE, an Imager and Multi-Object Spectrometer for Keck Observatory (presented at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Conference, July 2012).


Extragalactic:


       
  • I am examining the affects that outflows have on the formation of local galaxies at sub-galactic scales by obtaining high-resolution spectral and spatial maps of strong mid-infrared ionization lines, such as [Ar II] and [Ne II]. This mapping will illuminate whether the gas has a large enough velocity to escape the galaxy and pollute the intergalactic medium (IGM) or if it 'fountains' back into the galaxy, increasing the metallicity for the next generation of stars. I have recently observed a nearby starburst galaxy with the ground based instrument, TEXES, of the [Ne II] line and I am in the process of analyzing the data.

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  • With MOSFIRE data I am currently analyzing two protoclusters (galaxies found in an overdense region with respect to redshift space) at z # 2 and 3 to understand what role environment plays in the formation of galaxies at this epoch. To accomplish this, I am measuring numerous physical properties, such as velocity dispersion, star-formation rate, metallicity, and electron density, of protocluster and 'field' galaxies to examine the effects of environment at these early redshifts.

  • Link to paper on The Mass-Metallicity Relation Of A z ~ 2 Protocluster With MOSFIRE (published in the Astrophysical Journal, September 10, 2013).


       

  • I have studied UV-selected star-forming galaxies at z ~ 2-3 with multiple-peaked Lyman alpha emission. These profiles provide additional constraints on the escape of Lyman alpha photons due to the rich velocity structure in the emergent line. We obtained H alpha or [OIII] measurements for 18 double-peaked objects using NIRSPEC on Keck to calculate accurate systemic redshifts, nebular line widths, and intrinsic ionizing photon fluxes to better understanding the physical properties of the outflowing and inflowing material from these galaxies.

  • Link to paper on The Kinematics Of Multiple-Peaked Ly Alpha Emission In Star-Forming Galaxies At z ~ 2-3 (published in the Astrophysical Journal, January 20, 2012).




 
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