Deepto Chakrabarty named head of the Division of Physics | MIT Information


Professor Deepto Chakrabarty, principal investigator on the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and House Analysis, has been named head of the Division of Physics, efficient Aug. 29. Chakrabarty succeeds Peter Fisher, the Thomas A. Frank (1977) Professor of Physics, who has led the division since Nov. 13, 2013.

“Professor Chakrabarty will proceed to offer sturdy management in high-energy astrophysics analysis working along with his colleagues within the MIT Kavli Institute, and now, in his position on the head of physics, he may even allow the work of numerous others,” says Nergis Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and the dean of the MIT Faculty of Science. “As school lead of Physics 8.01, a required topic for all MIT undergraduates, over the previous decade, Deepto has additionally has great optimistic impression on the training of hundreds of MIT college students.”

“I’m deeply honored that I can proceed the necessary work of the division. Peter Fisher’s departmental management has been an inspiration” says Chakrabarty, who has been affiliate division head since 2020 and co-leader of the physics course 8.01, a required topic for all MIT undergraduates, for the previous eight years. “And with Dean Mavalvala on the helm of our college, MIT will proceed to be the world chief in physics throughout the spectrum of analysis areas.”

“Deepto’s analysis in X-ray astronomy has supplied a basis for the sphere of high-energy astrophysics,” says Fisher, who will start his new position as the pinnacle of the Workplace of Analysis Computing and Information (ORCD) at the beginning of the 12 months. “As former head of the astrophysics division inside MIT and as a pacesetter in present observational astrophysics strategies, Deepto has ensured that generations of previous and present astrophysicists have deep and rigorous coaching. He has additionally served as affiliate division head for the final two years and comes well-prepared for his new position.”

Chakrabarty’s main analysis pursuits are the physics and astrophysics of neutron stars. Particularly, he’s a pacesetter within the area in understanding millisecond pulsars, a kind of fast-spinning neutron star fashioned in a binary system with an atypical star. Fuel pulled away from the floor of the companion star crashes onto the neutron star, spinning it as much as rotation charges of a whole bunch of revolutions per second and emitting X-ray mild within the course of.

Physicists like Chakrabarty have proven that oscillations within the emitted X-ray mild can be utilized to measure a pulsar’s spin evolution and different key parameters. Such observations initially made with NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer earned Chakrabarty, and colleagues Tod Strohmayer of the NASA Goddard House Flight Heart and Rudy Wijnands of the College of Amsterdam, the Bruno Rossi Prize — the highest award given by the Excessive Power Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Chakrabarty’s present analysis makes use of NASA’s Neutron Star Inside Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray astronomy instrument aboard the Worldwide House Station constructed by NASA Goddard House Flight Heart and the MIT Kavli Institute. Lately, analysis scientist Dheeraj Pasham together with Chakrabarty, MIT Kavli Institute researchers, and different collaborators exterior of MIT used NICER to hint the supply of a vivid blue cosmic explosion to the start of a neutron star or black gap. This new proof of X-ray pulses, each 4.4 milliseconds, over a span of 60 days, revealed within the journal Nature Astronomy, opens prospects for locating extra nascent black holes or neutron stars promptly within the wake of dying stars.

Chakrabarty accomplished his BS in physics at MIT in 1988. He subsequently earned his PhD in physics from Caltech in 1996, following two years on the Lawrence Berkeley Nationwide Laboratory as a workers physicist engaged on the Berkeley Automated Supernova Search. After receiving his doctorate, Chakrabarty returned to MIT in 1996 for a three-year postdoc appointment as a NASA Compton GRO Fellow, together with a stint as a visiting fellow at Balliol Faculty, Oxford College. In 1999, he turned an assistant professor throughout the Division of Physics and was tenured in 2004.

Chakrabarty is a fellow of the American Bodily Society and a legacy fellow of the American Astronomical Society. His different awards embrace an Alfred P. Sloan Analysis Fellowship, the Buechner Educating Prize in Physics, and the inaugural 2017 MITx Prize for Educating and Studying in MOOCs for his work on the 8.01x Mechanics Sequence. He just lately chaired the panel on “Compact Objects and Energetic Phenomena” of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics, sponsored by the Nationwide Academy of Sciences.

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