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Paula Chadwick

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Mary Paula Chadwick FRAS FInstP is a British physicist who is professor and head of the Department of Physics at Durham University. Her research investigates gamma-ray astronomy and astroparticle physics. She is involved with the Cherenkov Telescope Array.[1]

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Fellow of the Institute of Physics

Fellow of the Institute of Physics

Fellowship of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) is "the highest level of membership attainable" by physicists who are members of the Institute of Physics (IoP), "for those with a degree in physics or related subject and who have made a significant impact on their sector"; Honorary Fellowship (HonFInstP) is for "exceptional individuals" who can be nominated in recognition of having "contributed to physics generally or to the work of the IOP", working in fields including business, education, research, and policy relating to physics.

Durham University

Durham University

Durham University is a collegiate public research university in Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charter in 1837. It was the first recognised university to open in England for more than 600 years, after Oxford and Cambridge, and is thus one of the institutions to be described as the third-oldest university in England. As a collegiate university its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and its 17 colleges. In general, the departments perform research and provide teaching to students, while the colleges are responsible for their domestic arrangements and welfare.

Gamma-ray astronomy

Gamma-ray astronomy

Gamma-ray astronomy is the astronomical observation of gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, with photon energies above 100 keV. Radiation below 100 keV is classified as X-rays and is the subject of X-ray astronomy.

Cherenkov Telescope Array

Cherenkov Telescope Array

The Cherenkov Telescope Array or CTA is a multinational, worldwide project to build a new generation of ground-based gamma-ray instrument in the energy range extending from some tens of GeV to about 300 TeV. It is proposed as an open observatory and will consist of two arrays of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs), a first array at the Northern Hemisphere with emphasis on the study of extragalactic objects at the lowest possible energies, and a second array at the Southern Hemisphere, which is to cover the full energy range and concentrate on galactic sources. The physics program of CTA goes beyond high energy astrophysics into cosmology and fundamental physics.

Early life and education

Chadwick has said she became interested in astronomy as a child. She was six when humans landed on the moon, and she thinks this may have triggered her passion.[2] Chadwick was an undergraduate student at Queen Mary University of London.[2] She moved to Durham University for her doctoral research, where she studied high energy cosmic gamma rays from pulsars.[3]

Research and career

Chadwick leads gamma-ray astronomy at Durham University.[4][5] She is particularly interested in supernova explosions and black holes which produce high-speed jets.[2] When gamma rays (the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation) hit the atmosphere, they produce a cascade of high energy matter that travels faster than the speed of light in air.[2] This produces a brief flash of high energy light (Cherenkov radiation), which Chadwick tries to detect with large telescopes.[2][6]

In 2015, Chadwick was awarded the Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize for her efforts to engage undergraduates with industry.[7]

Selected publications

  • A Abramowski; F Acero; F Aharonian; et al. (22 January 2013). "Search for photon-linelike signatures from dark matter annihilations with H.E.S.S.". Physical Review Letters. 110 (4): 041301. arXiv:1301.1173. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.110.041301. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 25166149. Wikidata Q51274745.
  • F. Aharonian; A. G. Akhperjanian; A. R. Bazer-Bachi; et al. (12 September 2006). "Observations of the Crab nebula with HESS". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 457 (3): 899–915. arXiv:astro-ph/0607333. Bibcode:2006A&A...457..899A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20065351. ISSN 0004-6361. Wikidata Q53161742.
  • M. Actis; G. Agnetta; F. Aharonian; et al. (23 November 2011). "Design concepts for the Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA: an advanced facility for ground-based high-energy gamma-ray astronomy". Experimental Astronomy. 32 (3): 193–316. arXiv:1008.3703. Bibcode:2011ExA....32..193A. doi:10.1007/S10686-011-9247-0. ISSN 0922-6435. Wikidata Q56933794.

Discover more about Research and career related topics

Gamma-ray astronomy

Gamma-ray astronomy

Gamma-ray astronomy is the astronomical observation of gamma rays, the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, with photon energies above 100 keV. Radiation below 100 keV is classified as X-rays and is the subject of X-ray astronomy.

Supernova

Supernova

A supernova is a powerful and luminous explosion of a star. It has the plural form supernovae or supernovas, and is abbreviated SN or SNe. This transient astronomical event occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star or when a white dwarf is triggered into runaway nuclear fusion. The original object, called the progenitor, either collapses to a neutron star or black hole, or is completely destroyed. The peak optical luminosity of a supernova can be comparable to that of an entire galaxy before fading over several weeks or months.

Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation

In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic (EM) field, which propagate through space and carry electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. All of these waves form part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Cherenkov radiation

Cherenkov radiation

Cherenkov radiation is electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through a dielectric medium at a speed greater than the phase velocity of light in that medium. A classic example of Cherenkov radiation is the characteristic blue glow of an underwater nuclear reactor. Its cause is similar to the cause of a sonic boom, the sharp sound heard when faster-than-sound movement occurs. The phenomenon is named after Soviet physicist Pavel Cherenkov.

Physical Review Letters

Physical Review Letters

Physical Review Letters (PRL), established in 1958, is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society. As also confirmed by various measurement standards, which include the Journal Citation Reports impact factor and the journal h-index proposed by Google Scholar, many physicists and other scientists consider Physical Review Letters to be one of the most prestigious journals in the field of physics.

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering theoretical, observational, and instrumental astronomy and astrophysics. The journal is run by a Board of Directors representing 27 sponsoring countries plus a representative of the European Southern Observatory. The journal is published by EDP Sciences and the editor-in-chief is Thierry Forveille.

Source: "Paula Chadwick", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Chadwick.

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