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Nicholas Kaiser Theoretical astrophysicist

Nicholas Kaiser has worked on a wide range of cosmological problems related to the formation of galaxies and large-scale structure in the Universe. These include: anisotropy of the microwave background; “bulk-flows”; analysis of galaxy clustering from redshift and angular surveys; and the evolution and clustering of clusters of galaxies. In recent years his research has been mainly focused on developing the theory and observational techniques for “Weak Gravitational Lensing” as a probe of the dark matter distribution. Weak lensing exploits the fact that images of distant galaxies are distorted by the deflection of light rays passing by intervening structures, resulting in a statistical anisotropy of the apparent shapes of these galaxies. The anisotropy is generally quite weak (on the order of 10% for lensing by galaxy clusters and around 1% for lensing by superclusters) but can be measured to a high background galaxies; approaching 1 million per square degree at the faintest magnitudes. Recognizing the unique potential of this technique to directly probe the dark matter distribution on a wide range scales from galaxy-haloes through galaxy clusters to supercluster scales and beyond, Kaiser and collaborators have pioneered the techniques for measuring the “shear field” and for reconstructing from this the 2-dimensional projected mass distribution.

Awards

Rutherford Medal, Royal Society of Canada, 1997.

Herzberg Medal, Canadian Association of Physicists, 1993.

Helen Warner Prize, American Astronomical Society, 1989.

Relevant Publications

N. F. Martin et al, "Lacerta I and Cassiopeia III. Two Luminous and Distant Andromeda Satellite Dwarf Galaxies Found in the 3π Pan-STARRS1 Survey," Astrophys. J., vol. 772, no. 1, pp. 15, 2013.

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Appointment

Associate Fellow Cosmology & Gravity

Institution

University of HawaiiDepartment of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Education

PhD (Astronomy) Cambridge University

BSc (Physics) Leeds University

Country

United States

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