John E. Carlstrom
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics; Enrico Fermi Institute; and the College

Education: Ph.D., California/Berkeley, 1988

Phone: (773) 834-0269
Location: ERC 341

Affiliations: Deputy Director, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics

Experimental astrophysics and cosmology, observations and new instrumentation.
Publications: ADS | arXiv | inSPIRE

Research Fields:
Observational cosmology using new instruments to measure the temperature and polarization anisotropy of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation and the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effects. Leader of the 10 meter South Pole Telescope (SPT) project, which recently completed a survey (SPT-SZ survey) of 2500 square degrees in three bands with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. The SPT is now conducting sensitive polarization-sensitive CMB survey (SPT-POL) over 500 square degrees. In addition to increased precision of the cosmological parameters and tests of Inflation, the SPT data has allowed investigations of extensions to the standard model, such as the number and masses of the neutrinos, and the nature of dark energy. Furthermore, the high resolution of the SPT measurements also allows us to detect directly the emergence and evolution of structure in the universe through the subtle, small-angular scale distortions they impart on the background, such as gravitational lensing from the mass in the universe and the scattering from ionized gas (the SZ effects). Through a new joint Chicago/Argonne superconducting detector development collaboration, the SPT group is building a new receiver, SPT-3G, with over 15,000 detectors to increase the polarization mapping speed by an order of magnitude. The SPT-3G survey will cover 2500 square degrees with unprecedented sensitivity to place constraints on the energy scale of inflation, on dark energy, on the reionization of the universe, and on the first bursts of star forming galaxies in the universe. Carlstrom is also leader of the CARMA SZ imaging program which is being upgraded with new receivers built at Chicago to provide unprecedented imaging of the SZ effect of distant galaxies clusters. By exploiting the redshift independence of the SZ brightness the CARMA SZ will be used to quickly follow-up and verify all high redshift clusters candidates found in the eRosita X-ray satellite survey.

Past Phd Students: Rachel Akeson (1996); Laura Grego (1999); Gil Holder (2001); Erik D. Reese (2001); Nils Halverson (2002); John Kovac (2003); Samuel LaRoque (2005); Daisuke Nagai (2005); Joaquin Vieira (2009); Ryan Keisler (2010); Matthew Sharp (2008); Christopher Greer (2012)

Current PhD students: Zubair Abdulla (A&A); Lindsey Bleem (Physics, PhD expected Spring 2013); Abigail Crites (A&A PhD expected Summer 2013); Laura Mocanu (A&A); Tyler Natoli (Physics); Kyle Story (Physics)

Graduate Students

Past Graduate Students: Tyler Natoli (2015, Physics); Kyle Story (2015, Physics); Lindsey E. Bleem (2013, Physics); Abigail Crites (2013, Astronomy and Astrophysics); Christopher Greer (2012, Astronomy and Astrophysics); Ryan Hennessy (2011, Astronomy and Astrophysics); Samuel LaRoque (2005, Astronomy and Astrophysics); Daisuke Nagai (2005, Astronomy and Astrophysics); Erik D. Reese (2001, Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Teaching Courses
  • [ASTR 30600] Radiation Measurements in Astrophysics: 2016 - 2017 (Spring)

Past courses:
  • [ASTR 24200] The Physical Universe: 2005 - 2006 (Winter); 2004 - 2005 (Winter)
  • [ASTR 30600] Radiation Measurements in Astrophysics: 2014 - 2015 (Spring)
  • [PHSC 12000] Origin of the Universe and How We Know: 2010 - 2011 (Spring); 2008 - 2009 (Spring)

Department Committees

Past Department Committees:
  • Appointments: 2015 - 2016 (Chair)
  • Search Committee: 2014 - 2015
  • Brinson Lectureship: 2014 - 2015 (Former Chair) | 2013 - 2014 (Chair)
  • Budget and Policy: 2015 - 2016 | 2014 - 2015 | 2013 - 2014
  • Awards: 2012 - 2013
  • Time Allocation: 2012 - 2013 | 2011 - 2012

Department News & Highlights