Support of the Astronomical Research of the Cavendish Astrophysics Group

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

This proposal requests support for the Cavendish Astrophysics (CA) group in Cambridge. Our research has a strong emphasis on observational astrophysics, backed by fundamental theoretical work, a substantial track-record in Bayesian data analysis, and extensive expertise in technologies that span the spectrum from radio to near-infrared wavelengths. We aim to work in a number of thematic areas where we have contributed significantly either experimentally or via leadership roles, or where we will be developing new technologies for next generation experiments in astrophysics.

Theme 1 - Galaxy formation and Evolution: we will exploit our access to new proprietary data from JWST's NIRSpec instrument and the MOONS multi-object spectrograph to investigate the chemical enrichment of galaxies from the time they were formed, at Cosmic Dawn, through to more recent epochs. This will use new measurements of
galactic metallicities from redshifts 9 through 0.7, and will explore the impact of the galactic environment on the chemical evolution of galaxies and the extent to which
different feedback mechanisms, e.g., accretion from the intergalactic medium, play a role in this process.

Theme 3 - Exoplanet discovery: we will build on our expertise in precision radial-velocity measurement to lead the search for Earth-like exoplanets.
We will perform the first analysis of data from the Terra Hunting Experiment, a 10-year survey of nearby stars with the HARPS-3 spectrograph at the Isaac Newton Telescope using an in-depth characterisation of the instrument and new statistical techniques to reduce false detections arising from instrumental effects. In a parallel study, we will combine data from the HARPS-N spectrograph with new data from the TESS satellite to fully characterise potential planets around nearby K dwarfs, using
new methods to remove spurious detections resulting from stellar instabilities which can easily mimic the signatures of low-mass planets.

Planned Impact

As well as our scientific colleagues (immediate, nationally and internationally), our research will benefit a much wider community,
spanning the commercial sector, policy makers in science and technology, and the public through our participation in specific
educational outreach projects as well as more general engagement activities for the interested public.

Impact to commercial and Industry sector:

Our experience in developing novel experimental techniques to address challenging astrophysical problems has frequently led to take-up by the
commercial sector. For example, our expertise in Bayesian data analysis (in particular for understanding microwave background datasets) has been
adopted by the Oil and Gas exploration sector for geophysical inversion and by the finance sector for market data analysis. Any company who has to
deal with inferential problems from massive data will likely benefit from our work in this area. Similarly, our
proposed work on a low cost digitization platform will likely reach a much wider community of radio-frequency engineers than those focused on astronomy alone.

Our research in optical/infrared instrumentation has two potential commercial ramifications. A new method for grating fabrication, if extendable to metre-class
dimensions, would have immediate commercial impact. Quite separately, the novel scheme for wavelength calibration of spectrographs we are proposing, might
be of interest for specialists in high precision metrology.

Commerce and industry also benefit more generally from the skilled and talented researchers that we train and develop. Many of our graduate students
and post-docs pursue careers outside the academic sector, where they bring advanced technical skills, as well as other ``softer'' transferable skills associated
with data assimilation, model-building, team-work, and presentation.

Public impact of proposed science programme:

Our work on exo-planetary systems is an area of particular public interest (both technically and socially) and our proposed programmes searching for Earth-like planets
will undoubtedly have very significant impact. This type of research resonates with deep questions as to our place in the Universe, and so has a unique tie to
policy makers in science and beyond.

Our work on the Epoch of Reionization via the REACH experiment represents a different type of societal impact. Here, the location of the experiment in South Africa has the
potential to impacts the local technical, economic and social climate. This fostering of South African colleagues, and concomitant knowledge exchange, is a
particularly powerful consequence of our international links.

Outreach and engagement activities:

A core strand of our research programme is support for educational and outreach activities. This has multiple foci. Tours of our observatory site allow
students and post-docs to inform the general public on both what we do, but also to explain the value of skilled research scientists
in the non-academic environment as key players in the UKs knowledge base and innovation community. Another strand prioritises high school students, where the
benefits range from a better understanding of the world we live in, through a stronger engagement in education (through science), to the development of technical
skills and broader career prospects. A key event which the Cavendish organises, and where our work features strongly is the annual ``Physics of Work'' exhibition at which
several thousand attend. This three-day event aims to stimulate interest and encourage wider participation in physics amongst 14- to 16-year-olds
by showcasing the many and varied ways in which physics is used in the wider world (http://outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/programme/physicsatwork).

Publications

10 25 50
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Collier Cameron A (2021) Separating planetary reflex Doppler shifts from stellar variability in the wavelength domain in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Kumari N (2021) Hardness of ionizing radiation fields in MaNGA star-forming galaxies in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

 
Description QUENCH
Amount € 2,484,531 (EUR)
Funding ID 340442 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2016 
End 09/2021
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation Durham University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseile
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation Leibniz Association
Department Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation National Institute for Astrophysics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation University of Geneva
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation University of Porto
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description HIRES E-ELT consortium 
Organisation Uppsala University
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have elaborated the science case for the HIRES instrument for the E-ELT. We have designed and performed R&D on some subsystems (grating, detectors, fibre slicing). We are leading the UK involvement into the project.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have contributed to the science cases and to the design of various technical subsystem of the instrument.
Impact So far the collaboration has generated various technical reports and a scientific white paper.
Start Year 2013
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation European Space Agency
Department European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC)
Country Netherlands 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation Leiden University
Department Leiden Observatory
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation National Research Council of Canada
Country Canada 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation Paris Institute of Astrophysics
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
Country Spain 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description JWST-NIRSpec Instrument Science Team 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Coordination and planning of the NIRSpec GTO survey trough simulations and tradeoff analysis Identification of the primary science cases and of their requirements Coordinator of the JADES and WIDE Multi-Object surveys Co-leadership of the IFS survey Development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Membership of the JWST Science Working Group Contribution to the laboratory testing
Collaborator Contribution Contribution to the design and observing strategies of the instrument Simulations and development of tools for the processing and analysis of the data Development of the commissioning plans, tools for data processing, simulations Definition of science readiness criteria Laboratory testing and performance verification of the instrument
Impact NIRSpec instrument design and definition of its observing modes Characterisation of the instrument and laboratory tests GTO surveys plan and submission for scheduling End-to-end simulations of the various observing modes and various observing strategies Tools for the data processing and data analysis
 
Description KLEVER collaboration 
Organisation European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This collaboration is associated with a Large Programme awarded by the European Southern Observatory exploiting 120 hours of observation with the KMOS instrument at the Very Large Telescope to obtain spatially resolved metallicity gradients, excitation diagram and kinematics in a sample of 150 galaxies (lensed and unlicensed) at z~1-2. Roberto Maiolino is the Co-PI of this programme. He has been in charge of co-leading the programme, planning the strategy and, together with his team, he has been processing, analysing and interpreting the results.
Collaborator Contribution The partners have been contributing in preparing the observations and processing the data.
Impact The first papers resulting from the analysis of the first set of data are being finalised and will be submitted for publication in the coming few months.
Start Year 2016
 
Description KLEVER collaboration 
Organisation National Institute for Astrophysics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration is associated with a Large Programme awarded by the European Southern Observatory exploiting 120 hours of observation with the KMOS instrument at the Very Large Telescope to obtain spatially resolved metallicity gradients, excitation diagram and kinematics in a sample of 150 galaxies (lensed and unlicensed) at z~1-2. Roberto Maiolino is the Co-PI of this programme. He has been in charge of co-leading the programme, planning the strategy and, together with his team, he has been processing, analysing and interpreting the results.
Collaborator Contribution The partners have been contributing in preparing the observations and processing the data.
Impact The first papers resulting from the analysis of the first set of data are being finalised and will be submitted for publication in the coming few months.
Start Year 2016
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation ETH Zurich
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation National Institute for Astrophysics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation Observatory of Paris
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Country Chile 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation University of Geneva
Department Geneva Observatory
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012
 
Description MOONS consortium 
Organisation University of Lisbon
Department Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAAUL)
Country Portugal 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are designing and developing the optomechanics of the cameras of the instrument, and we are leading the definition of the science cases and the optimisation of the observing strategies.
Collaborator Contribution Each of the partner institutes has contributed for different subsystems of the instrument as discussed at the site: http://www.roe.ac.uk/~ciras/MOONS/VLT-MOONS.html and in the associated papers.
Impact The collaboration will result in the construction of the instrument MOONS, which will be installed at the ESO Very Large Telescope.
Start Year 2012