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About me

I am a graduate research fellow at Columbia Astrophysics Lab. I am broadly interested in high-energy astrophysics, Galactic center science and cosmic-ray physics. I am currently studying the physics behind energetic activities from the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, using state-of-the-art space X-ray telescopes. My PhD dissertation topic is "Investigating the Physics of Hard X-ray Outbursts from the Galactic Center Supermassive black hole Sgr A* with NuSTAR", which is selected to be funded by NASA headquarters for continuous three years via the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow program. I have published 11 peer-reviewed papers on ApJ, MNRAS and Nature by January 2016. Besides interpreting the X-ray signals from the deep space, I am also passionate in development of X-ray optics, a key part of focusing X-ray telescopes enabling X-ray imaging. I conducted ground calibration experiments for the hard X-ray optics onboard the NuSTAR space telescope at the Nevis Lab. Before joining the Columbia NuSTAR group, I obtained my bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, where I designed and performed optical experiments to investigate a novel approach to obtain super high angular resolution imaging for coded-mask X-ray telescopes.

Major Research Interests

Galactic Center

  • Sgr A* X-ray flares
  • Giant molecular clouds
  • X-ray transients

Galactic Plane Survey

  • Survey simulation and observation strategy
  • X-ray point source population study
  • Origin of X-ray diffuse emission

Galactic Cosmic Rays

  • Cosmic rays supplying magnetic filamentary structures
  • Cosmic rays from supernova remnant and molecular cloud interaction sites

Webmaster: Shuo Zhang, last updates: Jan. 2016