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Professor Philip D Mauskopf

Astronomy Instrumentation Group

School of Physics and Astronomy

Member of safety committee

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.
Arrays of Transition Edge Superconducting (TES) bolometers are becoming the state-of-the-art for millimetre-wave to submillimetre-wave (300 um to 2 mm) photometry from the ground and balloons and are poised to provide an unprecedented view of the universe at these wavelengths over the next 5 years with instruments such as SCUBA2, SPT, ACT and Clover. Further developments of TES and related superconducting detectors are moving towards even larger arrays, FIR wavelengths (THz) where there is still a technology gap, and better sensitivities for applications in space and ground-based photometers and spectrometers.  I am involved in a European design study for an imaging spectrometer intended for the next generation of space FIR missions, collaborating with the SPICA team, a Japanese-led proposal to fly a 4 metre cooled telescope in space.  This project has recently been selected by the European Space Agency as one of 9 missions to be studied in the Cosmic Vision programme.

Honours and awards

Significant Distinctions/Awards

  • 2006: Visiting Scientist, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2002-2003: ‘Reentro Dei Cervelli’ Award, University of Rome
  • 2001-2003: Philip Leverhulme Prize
  • 2000: Visiting Professor at University of Rome, ‘La Sapienza’
  • 1993-1996: NASA Graduate Student Research Fellow, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1992-1993: Department of Education Graduate Fellow, University of California at Berkeley

Invited Lectures and University Colloquia

  • 2006: Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 2006: 11th Marcel Grossman Meeting, Berlin
  • 2006: 17th Int. Sym. on Space Terahertz Technology (ISSTT), Paris
  • 2004: Nottingham University
  • 2003: Oxford University
  • 2003: Imperial College, University of London
  • 2002: Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge
  • 2002: IAC XIII Winter School on Dark Matter and Dark Energy, Tenerife
  • 2002: Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester
  • 2002: Liverpool John Moore's University
  • 2001: Durham University
  • 1999: Conference on ‘Imaging at Radio through submillimeter wavelengths’, Tucson, USA

Leadership, Professional Societies and Other Activities

  • CurrentDirector of the Detector Development Group within the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) in the Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Current Lectures to Cardiff Astronomical Society, Participation in UK science news and information programs
  • CurrentReferee for PPARC and international grant proposals
  • 2006: External Examiner for PhD, University of Paris
  • 2005: Member of PPARC Rolling Grant Review Panel (Oxford University)
  • 2005: Member of PPARC Rolling Grant Review Panel (U. Manchester)
  • 2005: External Examiner for PhD, Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester
  • 2003-2004: Member of PPARC Technology and Industry Advisory Panel (TIAP)
  • 2000-2002: Member of American Astronomical Society

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1998

  • Olmi, L. and Mauskopf, P. D. 1998. The "Large Millimeter Telescop&' and its potential for high-z studies. Presented at: The young universe : galaxy formation and evolution at intermediate and high redshift, Monteporzio, Italy, 29 Sept - 3 Oct 1997 Presented at D'Odorico, S., Fontana, A. and Giallongo, E. eds.The young universe : galaxy formation and evolution at intermediate and high redshift : proceedings from a meeting held at Rome Astronomical Observatory, Monteporzio, 29 September - 3 October 1997. Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference series Vol. 146. Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference series: San Francisco, CA pp. 371-375.
  • Phillips, T. G.et al. 1998. Bolocam: a millimeter-wave bolometric camera. Presented at: Advanced Technology MMW, Radio, and Terahertz Telescopes, Kona, HI, 20 March, 1998 Presented at Phillips, T. G. ed.Advanced technology MMW, radio, and terahertz telescopes : 26-28 March 1998, Kona, Hawaii (Proceedings). SPIE Vol. 3357. Bellingham, WA: The International Society for Optical Engineering pp. 326., (10.1117/12.317418)
  • Rosa-Gonzalez,, D.et al. 1998. Cooling bolocam, a new camera for the future GTM/LMT. Presented at: Focal Points in Latin American Astronomy: IX Latin American Regional IAU Meeting, Tonantzintla, Mexico, 9-13 November 1998 Presented at Aguilar, A. and Carramiñana, A. eds.. Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica Serie de Conferencias. Vol. 11.
  • Masi, S.et al. 1998. Measuring the cosmic microwave background anisotropy power spectrum using boomerang. Presented at: Topological Defects in Cosmology( Proceedings ), Rome, Italy, 10-12 October, 1996 Presented at Signore, M. and Melchiorri, F. eds.Topological Defects in Cosmology: Rome, Italy, 10-12 October 1996. Singapore ; NJ: World Scientific pp. 135.

1997

1996

  • Lange, A. E.et al. 1996. Bolometric detector systems for IR and millimetre-wave space astronomy (invited). Presented at: Submillimetre and Far-Infrared Space Instrumentation, 30th ESLAB Symposium, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 24-26 September 1996 Presented at Rolfe, E. J. and Pilbratt, G. eds.Submillimetre and Far-Infrared Space Instrumentation, Proceedings of the 30th ESLAB Symposium held in Noordwijk, 24-26 September 1996. European Space Agency pp. 105.
  • Bock, J. J.et al. 1996. Infrared bolometers with silicon nitride micromesh absorbers. Presented at: Submillimetre and Far-Infrared Space Instrumentation: 30th ESLAB Symposium, Noordwijk, Netherlands, 24-26 September Presented at Rolfe, E. and Pilbratt, G. eds.Submillimetre and Far-Infrared Space Instrumentation, Proceedings of the 30th ESLAB Symposium held in Noordwijk, 24-26 September 1996. European Space Agency pp. 119.

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Lecture courses: Module Organiser (2007/2008)
PX2206Dynamics and Relativity (2nd year)
PX4216Fundamental Particles and Fields (4th year)
PX4114Advanced Quantum Mechanics (4th year)

Lecture courses: Deputy Module Organiser (2007/2008)
PX2101Quantum Mechanics (2nd year)
PX3231Physical Cosmology (3rd year)

Tutorials/seminars:
1st year tutorials      5 U/G students
2nd year tutorials      5 U/G students
Postgraduate lectures  CMB Anisotropies  6 P/G students

Project students:
PX33153rd year project    2-3 U/G students/year
PX43104th year project    2-3 U/G students/year

Research interests

Developing high sensitivity detector arrays for GHz-THz space applications:
Transition Edge Superconducting (TES) bolometers – Thermal detectors using superconducting thermometers.  We are collaborating with the Space Research Organisation of the Netherlands (SRON) to build extremely sensitive arrays of TES bolometers for future space missions such as SPICA.  We are part of a European consortim (ESI) led by Bruce Swinyard (RAL) to develop an imaging spectrometer for a wavelength range of 40 – 200 um.
Kinetic Inductance Detectors: Superconducting microwave resonators that are sensitive to quasiparticles produced by incoming photons.  We are collaborating with groups in Italy to build KIDs for mm-waves to THz.
Two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) detectors: We are collaborating with Nottingham, Sheffield and Surrey Universities to build a microrefrigerator using superconducting contacts to cool the electrons in a 2DEG and measure their temperature.  This technology combines microrefrigeration and detection and allows high sensitivity arrays of detectors without the need for a sub-kelvin cooler.
Superconducting single photon counting detectors: We are collaborating with groups in Russia, Ukraine and Europe to build long wavelength superconducting single photon counting detectors (SSPDs) for potential use in space astronomy and quantum communications and cryptography.  We are working with researchers at Bristol and QinetiQ on commercial applications of these detectors.
Measurements and interpretation of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies on degree to arcminute scales:BOOMERANG experiment, CLOVER experiment. Measurement of the temperature and  polarisation power spectra of the CMB; collaborations with groups in USA, Italy, Canada
OLIMPO experiment, ACT experiment. Balloon-borne and ground based millimetre-wave telescopes designed to search for clusters of galaxies through the SZ effect and characterise their spectra; collaborations with groups in Italy, France, Canada, USA, South Africa, Mexico, Australia
Infrared Astrophysics:  Measurement of millimetre and submillimetre-wave continuum emission from interstellar dust in high redshift galaxies.  
Bolocam/AzTEC: Two 144 element bolometer array cameras for millimetre-wave surveys for high redshift galaxies and galaxy clusters and star forming regions in our own galaxy; collaboration with groups in USA, Mexico
BLAST project: A balloon-borne large area submillimeter telescope for surveys of dusty high redshift galaxies; collaboration with groups in USA, Canada and Mexico.

Supervision

Developing high sensitivity detector arrays for GHz-THz space applications:
Transition Edge Superconducting (TES) bolometers – Thermal detectors using superconducting thermometers.  We are collaborating with the Space Research Organisation of the Netherlands (SRON) to build extremely sensitive arrays of TES bolometers for future space missions such as SPICA.  We are part of a European consortim (ESI) led by Bruce Swinyard (RAL) to develop an imaging spectrometer for a wavelength range of 40 – 200 um.
Kinetic Inductance Detectors: Superconducting microwave resonators that are sensitive to quasiparticles produced by incoming photons.  We are collaborating with groups in Italy to build KIDs for mm-waves to THz.
Two dimensional electron gas (2DEG) detectors: We are collaborating with Nottingham, Sheffield and Surrey Universities to build a microrefrigerator using superconducting contacts to cool the electrons in a 2DEG and measure their temperature.  This technology combines microrefrigeration and detection and allows high sensitivity arrays of detectors without the need for a sub-kelvin cooler.
Superconducting single photon counting detectors: We are collaborating with groups in Russia, Ukraine and Europe to build long wavelength superconducting single photon counting detectors (SSPDs) for potential use in space astronomy and quantum communications and cryptography.  We are working with researchers at Bristol and QinetiQ on commercial applications of these detectors.
Measurements and interpretation of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies on degree to arcminute scales:BOOMERANG experiment, CLOVER experiment. Measurement of the temperature and  polarisation power spectra of the CMB; collaborations with groups in USA, Italy, Canada
OLIMPO experiment, ACT experiment. Balloon-borne and ground based millimetre-wave telescopes designed to search for clusters of galaxies through the SZ effect and characterise their spectra; collaborations with groups in Italy, France, Canada, USA, South Africa, Mexico, Australia
Infrared Astrophysics:  Measurement of millimetre and submillimetre-wave continuum emission from interstellar dust in high redshift galaxies.  
Bolocam/AzTEC: Two 144 element bolometer array cameras for millimetre-wave surveys for high redshift galaxies and galaxy clusters and star forming regions in our own galaxy; collaboration with groups in USA, Mexico
BLAST project: A balloon-borne large area submillimeter telescope for surveys of dusty high redshift galaxies; collaboration with groups in USA, Canada and Mexico.