Matthew A. Malkan

Office: Physics and Astronomy Bldg., 3-714
UCLA, LA CA 90095-1547
Phone: (310)825-3404

Teaching and Public Outreach Papers, Talks, etc.

Current Research:

My Research Goals

My research at UCLA has focused on the two primary sources of energy in the Universe since the Big Bang: fusion power in stars and accretion power from massive black holes. While there is still considerable uncertainty in the energy production in the current Universe, the ultimate goal is to trace the cosmic history of these power sources all the way back to their beginnings. The galaxies of most interest thus appear small and faint, and have their emission redshifted to much longer wavelengths than they were initially produced. Furthermore, much of their energy is released in dusty environments. The combination of large redshifts and dust reddenings means that the major problems in observational cosmology must be addressed with a broad multiwavelength suite of observations, which includes sensitive measurements at long wavelengths, where dust absorption is minimized.

Galaxy Formation and Evolution in the Young Universe

Galaxies in their first stages of evolution are turning their gas into stars at high rates. Much of the resulting ultraviolet luminosity is absorbed by interstellar dust grains, and re-emitted in the infrared (see Dr. Malkan's reviews in astro-ph/9810055 and astro-ph/0110357). A large telescope can detect extremely distant galaxies at high redshifts. Due to the finite speed of light, it acts as a "time machine" to allow us to study galaxy formation when the Universe was much younger than today-- only a few billion years after the Big Bang.

Dr. Malkan is using infrared array detectors at Lick and Keck Observatories to discover and study galaxies in their first stages of evolution. He was the first to use narrow-band imaging to detect emission-line galaxies at high redshifts (1995 ApJ 448, L5; 1996 ApJ 486, L9). The strongest emission lines from star-forming regions, which are redshifted into the near-infrared are Halpha (1999 ApJ 520, 469) and [O III] (1999 ApJ 514, 33). The near-infrared search for distant young galaxies has also been successfully extended to a Grism Parallel Survey with the NICMOS infrared camera on the Hubble Space Telescope (1999 ApJ 520, 548; 1999 ApJ 519, L47).

The Wide-Field-Camera-3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels: WISP

May 11, 2009: NASA Reservices Hubble-excellent LA Times article

The successful 4th Reservicing Mission to Hubble has installed a new camera, WFC-3, which can do this same Grism Parallel Survey in the infrared 20 times faster than NICMOS could. We are now using WFC-3 for a 500-orbit survey called WISP: WISP Survey Page, including Reduced Data Release

With the magnification benefit of gravitational lensing, even smaller fainter young galaxies can be studied with detailed infrared spectroscopy (2004 ApJ 608, 36). Another application of infrared imaging to study galaxy evolution in the young universe, in the Hercules Deep Field, is shown in the "Astronomy Picture of the Day" Hercules Deep Field).

One of the most efficient ways to study cosmic evolution is by obtaining very intensive multi-wavelength data on a 'Deep Field'. The Subaru Deep Field has been studied in great depth by Malkan and his (mainly Japanese) collaborators. There is a really cool visual summary of the incredibly sensitive optical imaging data they have for SDF: Subaru Deep Field 'Skywalker'.

The integrated infrared emission from all of these young star-forming galaxies produces a Diffuse Infrared Background which was calculated by Malkan and Stecker (1998, ApJ 496, 13) and is now being confirmed experimentally by analysis of data from NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (see Malkan and Stecker 2001, ApJ 555, 641).

Activity in Nearby Galaxies

Malkan and collaborators are studying the multiwavelength properties of the brightest and most complete sample of nearby active galaxies--the 900 members of the 12Micron Galaxy survey (e.g. 1996 ApJ 471, 190). This unbiased sample includes many dusty galaxies with high rates of current star formation, such as M 82, which are best studied with new infrared telescopes such as the Infrared Space Observatory (1999 ApJ, 511, 721), and ground-based infrared spectrographs (1997 ApJ 481, 186). It also includes large numbers of Seyfert galaxies which harbor "active" nuclei that are powered by non-stellar central engines, presumed to be accreting massive black holes.

Malkan is using high-resolution imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope to analyze the properties of the galaxies which host the various types of active nuclei. One result is that these data do NOT support the popular model that the principal properties of the active galactic nuclei are determined by the orientation of a compact hypothetical thick torus which surrounds and is aligned with the accreting black hole (1998 ApJ Suppl, 117, 25). One of these images appeared as the Astronomy Picture of the Day. A small sampler of the Space Telescope images from this survey can be found at: along with informative notes about active galactic nuclei. With Leslie Hunt (Arcetri), Malkan has been finding large-scale features in the host galaxies which evidently support nuclear star formation or nonstellar activity (2004 ApJ 616, 707; 2000 ApJSuppl, 1999 ApJ 510, 637; 1999 ApJ 516, 660).

Multiwavelength Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

As one of the founding principal investigators of the International AGNWatch, Malkan has continued to work on studies of emission line and continuum variability of AGN (e.g. 2000 ApJ, 540, 652; 1998 ApJ 509, 163). One result of this work is the first reliable measurements of the size of the line-emitting region through the method of Reverberation Mapping. These sizes can be used to make estimates of the mass of the central black hole (2004 ApJ 613, 682; 1999 ApJ 526, 579). Also, by measuring the correlations of continuum variability in different wavebands, Malkan and collaborators have been deducing the physical emission mechanisms which produce the enormous luminosities in AGN and quasars, and their connection to each other (1998 ApJ 505, 594). With UCLA Hubble Fellow Tomasso Treu and Roger Blandford, he has been studying the cosmic evolution of the relations between the central black hole and its host galaxy (2004 ApJ 615 L97).

Published Data, On-line here:

NICMOS Parallel Survey: info about our deep near-infrared sky survey with the Hubble Space Telescope

Near-infrared stellar spectra: Click here for a complete directory of the 105 J-band spectra, divided at 1.15um named by Bright Star or HD number

  • Malkan, M.A. and Stecker, F.W. 2001, ApJ 555, 641. An Empirically Based Model for Predicting Infrared Luminosity Functions, Deep Infrared Galaxy Counts and the Diffuse Infrared Background Click here for a complete list of the model count predictions at each wavelength, from MS01 and also from newer SMS06 models

    Selected Publications

  • Misty Bentz, Malkan and many others 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 689, L21 "First Results from the Lick AGN Monitoring Project: The Mass of the Black Hole in Arp 151 "

  • Henry, Malkan, Colbert, Sianna, Teplitz and McCarthy 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 680, 97 "A Lyman Break Galaxy Candidate at z~9"

  • Woo, Treu, Malkan, and Blandford 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 681, 925 "Cosmic Evolution of Black Holes and Spheroids. III. The M-sigma relation in the last six billion years"

  • Tommasin, Spinoglio,Malkan, Smith, Gonzalez-Alfonso, Charmandaris 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 676, 836 "Spitzer-IRS high resolution spectroscopy of the 12\mu m Seyfert galaxies: I. First results "

  • Hicks and Malkan 2008, Astrophysical Journal Supp., 174, 31 "Circumnuclear Gas in Seyfert 1 Galaxies: Morphology, Kinematics, and Direct Measurement of Black Hole Masses"

  • Ly, Malkan, et al 2007, Astrophysical Journal, 657, 738 "The Luminosity Function and Star Formation Rate between Redshifts of 0.07 and 1.47 for Narrow-band Emitters in the Subaru Deep Field "

  • Kashikawa, Shimasaku, Malkan, et al 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 648, 7 "The End of the Reionization Epoch Probed by Ly-alpha Emitters at z=6.5 in the Subaru Deep Field"

  • Colbert, Malkan, et al 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 638, 603 "The Bright Ages Survey. I. Imaging Data"

  • Stecker, Malkan, Scully 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 648, 774 "Intergalactic Photon Spectra from the Far IR to the UV Lyman Limit for $0 < z < 6$ and the Optical Depth of the Universe to High Energy Gamma-Rays"

  • Nagao, Kashikawa, Malkan, et al 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 634, 132 "Spectroscopy of i-Dropout Galaxies with an NB921-Band Depression in the Subaru Deep Field"

  • Spinoglio, Malkan, et al 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 623, 123 "The far-infrared emission line and continuum spectrum of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 "

  • Colbert, Teplitz, Yan, Malkan and McCarthy 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 621, 587 "Near-Infrared Properties of Faint X-rays Sources from NICMOS Imaging in the Chandra Deep Fields "

  • Hunt and Malkan 2004, Astrophysical Journal, 616, 707 "Circumnuclear Structure and Black Hole Fueling: Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Imaging of 250 Active and Normal Galaxies"

  • Teplitz, Harry, Malkan, Matthew, and McLean, Ian 2004, Astrophysical Journal, 608, 36 "The Counterarc to MS 1512-cB58 and a Companion Galaxy"

  • Malkan, Webb and Konopacky 2003, Astrophysical Journal, 598, 878 "A Hubble Space Telescope Search for Lyman Continuum Emission from Galaxies at 1.1 < z < 1.4"

  • Hicks, Malkan, Teplitz, McCarthy and Yan 2002, Astrophysical Journal, 581, 205 "Star Formation in Emission-Line Galaxies between Redshifts of 0.8 and 1.6"

  • Malkan, et al. 2002, Astrophysical Journal Supplement 142, 79 1--1.4Micron Spectral Atlas of Stars

  • Malkan, M. A. 19 Feb. 2002 Invited Review Talk at OWL Workshop "Observations and Models of the IR Background"

  • Luigi Spinoglio, Paola Andreani, Malkan, M.A., 2002 Astrophysical Journal, 572, 105 The far-infrared energy distributions of Seyfert and starburst galaxies in the Local Universe: ISO photometry of the 12 micron active galaxy sample

  • James W. Colbert and Matthew A. Malkan, 2002 Astrophysical Journal,566, 51 NICMOS Snapshot Survey of Damped Lyman Alpha Quasars

  • Malkan, M.A. and Stecker, F.W. 2001, ApJ 555, 641. An Empirically Based Model for Predicting Infrared Luminosity Functions, Deep Infrared Galaxy Counts and the Diffuse Infrared Background Click here for a complete list of the model count predictions at each wavelength

  • Vaughan, S.; Edelson, R.; Warwick, R. S.; Malkan, M. A.; Goad, M. R. 2001, MNRAS 327, 673. A complete sample of Seyfert galaxies selected at 0.25 keV

  • Malkan, M.A., 2000, in "Birth and Evolution of the Universe", Proceedings of Fourth RESCEU International Symposium, eds. K. Sato and M. Kawasaki (Universal Academy Press; Tokyo), p. 119. Our Second Look at the Immature Universe: The Infrared View

  • Hasegawa, Takashi; Wakamatsu, Ken-ichi; Malkan, Matthew; Sekiguchi, Kazuhiro; Menzies, John W.; Parker, Quentin A.; Jugaku, Jun; Karoji, Hiroshi; Okamura, Sadanori 2000, MNRAS 316, 326. Large-scale structure of galaxies in the Ophiuchus region

  • Webb, Wayne; Malkan, Matthew 2000, ApJ 540, 652. Rapid Optical Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei and Quasars

  • Sugai, H.. Malkan, M. A., 2000, ApJ 529, 219. Mid-Infrared ISO Spectroscopy of the Prototypical LINER NGC 1052: Shocks Reconsidered

  • Teplitz, H., Malkan, M., McLean, I., 1999, ApJ 514, 33. A Narrowband Imaging Search for [O III] Emission from Galaxies at z > 3

  • Wandel, A., Peterson, B.M., Malkan, M.A. 1999, ApJ, 526, 579. Central Masses and Broad-Line Region Sizes of Active Galactic Nuclei. I. Comparing the Photoionization and Reverberation Techniques

  • Malkan, M., Gorjian, V., Tam, R., 1998, ApJS, 117, 25. A Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Survey of Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei WARNING! Read this note on saturation problems with the photometry

  • Malkan, M.A., 1998 ASP Proceedings of "Astrophysics with Infrared Arrays: A Prelude to SIRTF" Review: Understanding Galaxy Formation and Evolution with Long Wavelength Observations

  • Malkan, M.A., 1998, Laboratory Space Science Workshop, held at Harvard-Smithosonian Center for Astrophysics Improved Atomic Physics Parameters for Modelling Gas in Galaxies


  • Zuckerman, B., and Malkan, M.A., 1996, Jones & Bartlett Publishers. "The Origin and Evolution of the Universe"

    Astronomy 278: Graduate Seminar on Observations of Galaxy Formation and Evolution

    Educational Background:

    B.A., Astrophysics, Harvard, 1977.

    M.A., Physics, Harvard, 1977.

    C.P.G.S., Cambridge University, 1978.

    Ph.D., Astronomy, Caltech, 1983.

    AMC-FUMEC Distinguished Visiting Professor, 2009 (Academia Mexicana de Ciencias)

    Recent PR:

    Newsweek's August 2006 Cover Story on Pluto Do readers really care about my emails?

    L.A.Times-UPI May 2009 story on Final Hubble Repair I THOUGHT I said 40 times improvement, but I guess a little puffery to promote a good cause is OK

    UPI Story repeats the inflated claim

    see National Geographic October 1999 for Kathy Sawyer's account of a crazy night at the Keck Telescope

    Astro-archaeology from -- March 12, 2002

    "ABC" Inter viewtranscript of Robyn Williams' broadcast on March 23, 2002

    Story from, includes "Milky Way Baby Pictures" -- March 12, 2002

    Hercules Deep Field from -- January 13, 2002

    Press release from AAS meeting Madison, Wisconsin -- June 10, 1996

    Press Release on our collaboration with Ohio State Astronomer Brad Peterson June 1999 description of our program to measure giant black hole masses in Activ e Galactic Nuclei

    Story from UCLA Today, Team Teaching the General Education Cosmos Cluster, GE 70 -- November, 1998

    More PR--K.C. Coles nice LA Times article

    Full story, in French Hubble Space Telescope image comes in handy for a Supernova discovery, from Quebec

    Nice story in UCLA Today Exploring Your Universe is an even bigger hit in 2011

    In October 2007 we had a great celebration of Peter Biermann's Research

    . . . . . . . . Appropriately, there was a heavily-attended Symposium at MPI-Bonn

    . . . . . . . . I talked about the Disk/Jet Symbiosis

    . . . . . . . . And of course Lessons Learned from Peter

    On the lighter side .....

    Matt's Weekend on CVN-68, USS Nimitz

    Christmastime 2009: we gave away 92 brand new bicycles to needy kids in Corpus Christi. Mom and Dad would be proud.

    Missing the Gold...By 0.99 seconds. The theme of this NASTAR slalom race was "Go for the Cup", and I'm happy to say I DID win a cup. A free coffee.

    Of course my multi-talented sister Hope has her extensive entry in, but can you believe that I actually have one, too!?!

    Nuclear Family Photos .....


    Shoko, Brian and Emily Malkan

    Shoko's Office: PAB 3-717
    Shoko's Phone: (310)825-6209

    REAL Baby Pictures

    Recent Photos of Brian and Sister Emily, you'll then need to click on individual pages to see them displayed

    Nice Bruin Radio clip on our Department's outreach efforts with kids. Listen for 47 seconds to catch the particular participant they selected to interview

    Personal Photos

    Astronomy 8

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    Last modified May 26, 2011