Department of Physics
Professor , Dean of Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Head of the Department
My research is in the general area of Astrophysics and Space Research. My interests lie in the study of the evolution of galaxies in groups and clusters, and on the supercluster filaments of the cosmic web. I use optical, X-ray, radio, infrared and ultraviolet observations, with observatories on ground and in Space, to understand how the transformations of galaxies are related to their local and global environment. I am part of an international collaboration for developing innovative machine learning algorithms for Astronomical data interpretation. I have published over 90 research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals on these themes. I also play an active role in presenting Astronomy to the public, in particular to school students and their teachers.
- BSc (Hons) Physics (Presidency College, University of Calcutta, 1983)
- BA Physics (University of Oxford, 1986)
- MA Physics (University of Oxford, 1989)
- PhD Astrophysics (University of Cambridge, 1990)
I obtained my PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge (Churchill College), on the dynamics of galaxies, under the supervision of D. Lynden-Bell FRS, in 1990, and thereafter continued at Cambridge as a research fellow at the Institute of Astronomy and a fellow of St Edmund's College. In 1991, I moved to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) as a Smithsonian fellow, working on near-infrared Astronomy. In 1993, I became a staff member of the Chandra Science Center at the CfA, working on X-ray Astronomy. During this period, I taught in the Core programme at Harvard University, and was a tutor at Lowell House. In 1995, I spent a year at the University of Cambridge as a Royal Society visiting Fellow, after which I joined the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, India, as a member of their core faculty. I moved to the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham in 200, where I was the director of the University Observatory, and in charge of the extensive outreach programme of the Astrophysics group. I moved to Presidency University in 2012.
Research / Administrative Experience+
My research involves the study of the evolution of galaxies in groups and clusters, and on the supercluster filaments of the cosmic web. I have used optical, X-ray, radio, infrared and ultraviolet observations, from the ground and from Space, to understand how the transformations of galaxies are related to their local and global environment. I am also part of an international collaboration for developing machine learning algorithms for Astronomical data mining. My main areas of interest are:
Superclusters of galaxies and the cosmic web: the outskirts of galaxy clusters
Galaxy evolution in groups and clusters of galaxies
Supermassive black holes, their host galaxies and clusters- X-ray and radio observations, feedback
Stellar mass black holes: low-mass X-ray binaries and ultraluminous X-ray sources in nearby galaxies
Learning Algorithms for advanced data mining and analysis of large Astronomical datasets
Teaching / Other Experience+
Currently I teach
- BSc Honours laboratory
- MSc Elective Astrophysics
- MSc projects
and conduct a study group in Astrophysics and Cosmology.
Post Graduate Supervision+
- 1996-2000 Tarun Deep Saini PhD Thesis at IUCAA, Pune, India Cosmology with Supernovae and Gravitational Lensing 2001-2005. (Now Faculty, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)
- Trevor Miles PhD Thesis at U Birmingham The evolution of galaxies in groups 2002-2006
- Scott Porter PhD Thesis at U Birmingham The properties of galaxies in Supercluster filamentsâ€¨ 2003-2007
- Rowan Temple PhD Thesis at U Birmingham X-ray observations of galaxies and galaxy clusters â€¨ 2003-2006
- Juan Cuevas de Tello PhD Thesis at U Birmingham (Computer Science) Estimating Time delays in Gravitational lenses (joint supervision with Dr Peter Tino, School of Computer Science) 2005-2008
- Ali Dariush PhD Thesis at U Birmingham Galaxy Groups: comparing observations with simulations 2006-2010 (Now postdoctoral fellow, University of Cambridge)
- Smriti Mahajan PhD Thesis at U Birmingham The environmental dependence of star formation in galaxiesâ€¨ (first at Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics as a Smithsonian pre-doctoral Fellow, now postdoctoral fellow at the University of Brisbane, Australia)
- 2006-2010 Walter del Pozzo PhD Thesis at U Birmingham Feedback in galaxy groups and clustersâ€¨ (now a postdoctoral Fellow at NIKHEF, Amsterdam)
- 2009- Matt Lazell PhD Thesis at U Birmingham Radio observations of galaxy clusters
- 2010- Shereen Fouad PhD Thesis at U Birmingham (Computer Science) Machine Learning techniques in Astronomy (joint supervision with Dr Peter Tino, School of Computer Science)
- 2010- Konstantinos Kolokythas PhD Thesis at U Birmingham Radiogalaxies in clusters
- 2011- Mark Burke PhD Thesis at U Birmingham â€¨Low mass X-ray binaries in nearby galaxies
- 2011- Melissa Gillone PhD Thesis at U Birmingham Star formation and AGN in groups of galaxiesâ€¨
- Member, International Astronomical Union
- Life member, Astronomical Society of India
- Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society, UK
Member of EU FP7 Expert Panel for Physics (2010-)
Smithsonian/NASA Chandra Peer Review panel (member several times since 2002, once Chair)
- Raychaudhury, Somak (1989). "The distribution of galaxies in the direction of the 'Great Attractor". Nature 342: 251–255.
- Raychaudhury, Somak; Lynden-Bell, D. (1989). "Tides, torques and the timing argument". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 240: 196–218.
- Raychaudhury, Somak, A. C. Fabian, A. C. Edge, C. Jones, & W. Forman (1991). "X-Ray and Optical Observations of the Shapley Supercluster in Hydra-Centaurus". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 248: 101–111.
- Lahav, O. ; Naim, A. ; Buta, R.; ..Raychaudhury, Somak; and 7 others (1995). "Galaxies, Human Eyes, and Artificial Neural Networks". Science 267: 859.
- Saini, Tarun Deep ; Raychaudhury, Somak; Sahni, Varun & Starobinsky, Alexei (2000). "Reconstructing the Cosmic Equation of State from Supernova Distances". Phys. Rev. Lett. 85: 1162–1165.
- Miles, T. A.; Raychaudhury, Somak; Forbes Duncan, D. A. (2004). "The Group Evolution Multiwavelength Study (GEMS): bimodal luminosity functions in galaxy groups". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 355: 785–793.
- Porter, Scott C.; Raychaudhury, Somak; Pimbblet, Kevin A. and Drinkwater, Michael J. (2008). "Star formation in galaxies falling into clusters along supercluster-scale filaments". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 388: 1152–1160.
- Mahajan, Smriti; Haines, Chris; Raychaudhury, Somak (2010). "Star formation, starbursts and quenching across the Coma supercluster". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 404: 1745–1760.
- O'Sullivan, Ewan J.; Giacintucci, Simona; P. David, Laurence; Gitti, Myriam; Vrtilek, Jan M.; Raychaudhury, Somak; Ponman, Trevor J. (2011). "Heating the Hot Atmospheres of Galaxy Groups and Clusters with Cavities: The Relationship between Jet Power and Low-frequency Radio Emission". Astrophysical Journal 735: 11.
- Burke, Mark J.; Raychaudhury, Somak & 19 others, (2012). "A Transient Sub-Eddington Black Hole X-Ray Binary Candidate in the dust Lanes of Centaurus A". Astrophysical Journal 749: 112.
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