S. M. Bradbury

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Publications (189)622.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report on the results of two coordinated multiwavelength campaigns that focused on the blazar Markarian 421 during its 2006 and 2008 outbursts. These campaigns obtained UV and X-ray data us-ing the XMM-Newton satellite, while the gamma-ray data were obtained utilizing three imaging atmo-spheric Cerenkov telescopes, the Whipple 10 m telescope and VERITAS, both based in Arizona, as well as the MAGIC telescope, based on La Palma in the Canary Islands. The coordinated effort between the gamma-ray groups allowed for truly simultaneous data in UV/X-ray/gamma-ray wavelengths during a sig-nificant portion of the XMM-Newton observations. This simultaneous coverage allowed for a reliable search for correlations between UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray variability over the course of the observations. In-vestigations of spectral hysteresis and modeling of the spectral energy distributions are also presented.
    The Astrophysical Journal J. Moldón J. Ninkovic E. Prandini N. Puchades I. Reichardt J. Rico T. Y. Saito V. Scalzotto S. N. Shore N. Sidro A. Sierpowska-Bartosik J. Sitarek J. Zapatero. 03/2037; 703455657454052443847(35):169-178.
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    ABSTRACT: The variability of the blazar Markarian 421 in TeV gamma rays over a 14-year time period has been explored with the Whipple 10 m telescope. It is shown that the dynamic range of its flux variations is large and similar to that in X-rays. A correlation between the X-ray and TeV energy bands is observed during some bright flares and when the complete data sets are binned on long timescales. The main database consists of 878.4 hours of observation with the Whipple telescope, spread over 783 nights. The peak energy response of the telescope was 400 GeV with 20% uncertainty. This is the largest database of any TeV-emitting active galactic nucleus (AGN) and hence was used to explore the variability profile of Markarian 421. The time-averaged flux from Markarian 421 over this period was 0.446$\pm$0.008 Crab flux units. The flux exceeded 10 Crab flux units on three separate occasions. For the 2000-2001 season the average flux reached 1.86 Crab units, while in the 1996-1997 season the average flux was only 0.23 Crab units.
    Astroparticle Physics 10/2013; 54:1-10. · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of an unidentified, extended source of very-high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray emission, VER J2019+407, within the radio shell of the supernova remnant SNR G78.2+2.1, using 21.4 hours of data taken by the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory in 2009. These data confirm the preliminary indications of gamma-ray emission previously seen in a two-year (2007-2009) blind survey of the Cygnus region by VERITAS. VER J2019+407, which is detected at a post-trials significance of 7.5 standard deviations in the 2009 data, is localized to the northwestern rim of the remnant in a region of enhanced radio and X-ray emission. It has an intrinsic extent of 0.23^{\circ} \pm 0.03^{\circ} (stat)+0.04^{\circ}_{-0.02}^{\circ}(sys) and its spectrum is well-characterized by a differential power law (dN/dE = N_0 \times (E/TeV)^{-\Gamma}) with a photon index of {\Gamma} = 2.37 \pm 0.14 (stat) \pm 0.20 (sys) and a flux normalization of N0 = 1.5 \pm 0.2 (stat) \pm 0.4(sys) \times 10^-12 ph TeV^{-1} cm^{-2} s^{-1}. This yields an integral flux of 5.2 \pm 0.8 (stat) \pm 1.4 (sys) \times 10^-12 ph cm^{-2} s^{-1} above 320 GeV, corresponding to 3.7% of the Crab Nebula flux. We consider the relationship of the TeV gamma-ray emission with the GeV gamma-ray emission seen from SNR G78.2+2.1 as well as that seen from a nearby cocoon of freshly accelerated cosmic rays. Multiple scenarios are considered as possible origins for the TeV gamma-ray emission, including hadronic particle acceleration at the supernova remnant shock.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2013; 770(2):7. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Whipple Observatory 10 m γ-ray telescope has been used to survey the error boxes of EGRET unidentified sources in an attempt to find counterparts at energies of 350 GeV and above. Twenty-one unidentified sources detected by EGRET (more than 10% of the total number) have been included in this survey. In no case is a statistically significant signal found in the EGRET error box, which implies that, at least for this sample, the γ-ray spectra of these sources steepen between 100 MeV and 350 GeV. For each EGRET source location, we list candidate associations and derive upper limits on the integral γ-ray flux above 350 GeV.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 624:638. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first atmospheric Cherenkov telescope of VERITAS (the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) has been in operation since February 2005. We present here a technical description of the instrument and a summary of its performance. The calibration methods are described, along with the results of Monte Carlo simulations of the telescope and comparisons between real and simulated data. The analysis of TeV gamma-ray observations of the Crab Nebula, including the reconstructed energy spectrum, is shown to give results consistent with earlier measurements. The telescope is operating as expected and has met or exceeded all design specifications. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Astroparticle Physics 05/2013; 25:391. · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present results from observations of 29 BL Lacertae objects, taken with the Whipple Observatory 10 m gamma-ray telescope between 1995 and 2000. The observed objects are mostly at low redshift (z<0.2), but observations of objects of up to z=0.444 are also reported. Five of the objects are EGRET sources and two are unconfirmed TeV sources. Three of the confirmed sources of extragalactic TeV gamma rays were originally observed as part of this survey and have been reported elsewhere. No significant excesses are detected from any of the other objects observed, on timescales of days, months, or years. We report 99.9% confidence level flux upper limits for the objects for each observing season. The flux upper limits are typically 20% of the Crab flux, although for some sources, limits as sensitive as 6% of the Crab flux were derived. The results are consistent with the synchrotron self-Compton model predictions considered in this work.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 603:51. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a possible detection of TeV gamma rays from the Galactic center by the Whipple 10 m gamma-ray telescope. Twenty-six hours of data were taken over an extended period from 1995 through 2003 resulting in a total significance of 3.7 sigma. The measured excess corresponds to an integral flux of 1.6 x 10(-8) +/- 0.5 x 10(-8) (stat) +/- 0.3 x 10(-8) (sys) photons m(-2) s(-1) above an energy of 2.8 TeV, roughly 40% of the flux from the Crab Nebula at this energy. The 95% confidence region has an angular extent of about 15' and includes the position of Sgr A*. The detection is consistent with a point source and shows no evidence of variability.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 05/2013; 608:L97. · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Details are presented of the Whipple Observatory's 10 m atmospheric Cherenkov telescope and camera, as it evolved during the period 1997 until 2006. The design of the telescope and camera's optical and electronic systems is discussed together with a detailed description of the four-stage GRANITE (Gamma-RAy New Imaging TElescope) upgrade program, undertaken during the same time period. The objective of the upgrade was to improve the telescope's sensitivity for the detection of very-high-energy gamma-rays. Results from the program are provided and are briefly discussed in the context of the design of VERITAS. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Physics Research Publications. 05/2013; 28:182.
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    ABSTRACT: We report the detection of very high energy gamma- ray emission from the intermediate- frequency- peaked BL Lacertae object W Comae (z = 0.102) by VERITAS. The source was observed between 2008 January and April. A strong outburst of gamma-ray emission was measured in the middle of March, lasting for only 4 days. The energy spectrum measured during the two highest flare nights is fit by a power law and is found to be very steep, with a differential photon spectral index of Gamma = 3.81 +/- 0.35(stat) +/- 0.34(syst). The integral photon flux above 200 GeV during those two nights corresponds to roughly 9% of the flux from the Crab Nebula. Quasi-simultaneous Swift observations at X-ray energies were triggered by the VERITAS observations. The spectral energy distribution of the flare data can be described by synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) or external Compton (EC) leptonic jet models.
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters 05/2013; 684:L73. · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blazars have traditionally been separated into two broad categories based on their optical emission characteristics. Blazars with faint or no emission lines are referred to as BL Lacertae objects ( BL Lacs), and blazars with prominent, broad emission lines are commonly referred to as flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs). The spectral energy distribution of FSRQs has generally been thought of as being more akin to the low-peaked BL Lacs, which exhibit a peak in the infrared region of the spectrum, as opposed to high-peaked BL Lacs (HBLs), which exhibit a peak in UV/X-ray region of the spectrum. All blazars that are currently confirmed as sources of TeV emission fall into the HBL category. Recent surveys have found several FSRQs that exhibit spectral properties, particularly the synchrotron peak frequency, similar to HBLs. These objects are potential sources of TeV emission according to several models of blazar jet emission and the evolution of blazars. Measurements of TeV flux or flux upper limits could impact existing theories explaining the links between different blazar types and could have a significant impact on our understanding of the nature of objects that are capable of TeV emission. In particular, the presence ( or absence) of TeV emission from FSRQs could confirm ( or cast doubt on) recent evolutionary models that expect intermediate objects in a transitional state between FSRQ and BL Lac. The Whipple 10 m imaging air Cerenkov gamma-ray telescope is well suited for TeV gamma-ray observations. Using the Whipple telescope, we have taken data on a small selection of nearby (z < 0.1 in most cases) high-peaked FSRQs. Although one of the objects, B2 0321+33, showed marginal evidence of flaring, no significant emission was detected. The implications of this paucity of emission and the derived upper limits are discussed.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 613:710. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2003 April-May, the blazar 1ES 1959+650 showed an increased level of X-ray activity. This prompted a multiwavelength observation campaign with the Whipple 10 m gamma-ray telescope, the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer, the Bordeaux Optical Observatory, and the University of Michigan Radio Astronomy Observatory. We present the multiwavelength data taken from 2003 May 2 to June 7 and compare the source characteristics with those measured during observations taken during the years 2000 and 2002. The X-ray observations gave a data set with high signal-to-noise ratio light curves and energy spectra; however, the gamma-ray observations did not reveal a major TeV gamma-ray flare. Furthermore, we find that the radio and optical fluxes do not show statistically significant deviations from those measured during the 2002 flaring periods. While the X-ray flux and X-ray photon index appear correlated during subsequent observations, the apparent correlation evolved significantly among the years 2000, 2002, and 2003. We discuss the implications of this finding for the mechanism that causes the flaring activity.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 644:722. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma-ray burst (GRB) observations at very high energies (VHE; E > 100 GeV) can impose tight constraints on some GRB emission models. Many GRB afterglow models predict a VHE component similar to that seen in blazars and plerions, in which the GRB spectral energy distribution has a double-peaked shape extending into the VHE regime. VHE emission coincident with delayed X-ray flare emission has also been predicted. GRB follow-up observations have had high priority in the observing program at the Whipple 10 m gamma-ray telescope, and GRBs will continue to be high-priority targets as the next-generation observatory, VERITAS, comes online. Upper limits on the VHE emission at late times (> similar to 4 hr) from seven GRBs observed with the Whipple Telescope are reported here.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2013; 655:396. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detection of high-energy neutrinos from distant astrophysical sources will open a new window on the Universe. The detection principle exploits the measurement of Cherenkov light emitted by charged particles resulting from neutrino interactions in the matter containing the telescope. A novel multi-PMT digital optical module (DOM) was developed to contain 31 3-inch photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). In order to maximize the detector sensitivity, each PMT will be surrounded by an expansion cone which collects photons that would otherwise miss the photocathode. Results for various angles of incidence with respect to the PMT surface indicate an increase in collection efficiency by 30% on average for angles up to 45°� with respect to the perpendicular. Ray-tracing calculations could reproduce the measurements, allowing to estimate an increase in the overall photocathode sensitivity, integrated over all angles of incidence, by 27% (for a single PMT). Prototype DOMs, being built by the KM3NeT consortium, will be equipped with these expansion cones.
    Journal of Instrumentation 03/2013; 8(T03006). · 1.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent analysis of the Fermi Large Area Telescope data provided evidence for a high intensity emission of high-energy gamma rays with a E�2 spectrum from two large areas, spanning 50� above and below the Galactic centre (the ‘‘Fermi bubbles’’). A hadronic mechanism was proposed for this gamma-ray emission making the Fermi bubbles promising source candidates of high-energy neutrino emission. In this work Monte Carlo simulations regarding the detectability of high-energy neutrinos from the Fermi bubbles with the future multi-km3 neutrino telescope KM3NeT in the Mediterranean Sea are presented. Under the hypothesis that the gamma-ray emission is completely due to hadronic processes, the results indicate that neutrinos from the bubbles could be discovered in about one year of operation, for a neutrino spectrum with a cutoff at 100 TeV and a detector with about 6 km3 of instrumented volume. The effect of a possible lower cutoff is also considered.
    Astroparticle Physics 11/2012; 42(2013):7-14. · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on very high energy (E > 100 GeV) gamma-ray observations of V407 Cygni, a symbiotic binary that underwent a nova outburst producing 0.1-10 GeV gamma rays during 2010 March 10-26. Observations were made with the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System during 2010 March 19-26 at relatively large zenith angles, due to the position of V407 Cyg. An improved reconstruction technique for large zenith angle observations is presented and used to analyze the data. We do not detect V407 Cygni and place a differential upper limit on the flux at 1.6 TeV of 2.3 \times 10^(-12) erg cm^(-2) s^(-1) (at the 95% confidence level). When considered jointly with data from Fermi-LAT, this result places limits on the acceleration of very high energy particles in the nova.
    The Astrophysical Journal 05/2012; 754(1). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the discovery of high-energy (HE; E > 0.1 GeV) and very high energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) γ-ray emission from the high-frequency-peaked BL Lac object RBS 0413. VERITAS, a ground-based γ-ray observatory, detected VHE γ rays from RBS 0413 with a statistical significance of 5.5 standard deviations (σ) and a γ-ray flux of (1.5 ± 0.6stat ± 0.7syst) × 10–8 photons m–2 s–1 (~1% of the Crab Nebula flux) above 250 GeV. The observed spectrum can be described by a power law with a photon index of 3.18 ± 0.68stat ± 0.30syst. Contemporaneous observations with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected HE γ rays from RBS 0413 with a statistical significance of more than 9σ, a power-law photon index of 1.57 ± 0.12stat +0.11 – 0.12sys, and a γ-ray flux between 300 MeV and 300 GeV of (1.64 ± 0.43stat +0.31 – 0.22sys) × 10–5 photons m–2 s–1. We present the results from Fermi-LAT and VERITAS, including a spectral energy distribution modeling of the γ-ray, quasi-simultaneous X-ray (Swift-XRT), ultraviolet (Swift-UVOT), and R-band optical (MDM) data. We find that, if conditions close to equipartition are required, both the combined synchrotron self-Compton/external-Compton and the lepto-hadronic models are preferred over a pure synchrotron self-Compton model.
    The Astrophysical Journal 04/2012; 750(2):94. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The VERITAS array of Cherenkov telescopes has carried out a deep observational program on the nearby dwarf spheroidal galaxy Segue 1. We report on the results of nearly 48 hours of good quality selected data, taken between January 2010 and May 2011. No significant $\gamma$-ray emission is detected at the nominal position of Segue 1, and upper limits on the integrated flux are derived. According to recent studies, Segue 1 is the most dark matter-dominated dwarf spheroidal galaxy currently known. We derive stringent bounds on various annihilating and decaying dark matter particle models. The upper limits on the velocity-weighted annihilation cross-section are $\mathrm{<\sigma v >^{95% CL} \lesssim 10^{-23} cm^{3} s^{-1}}$, improving our limits from previous observations of dwarf spheroidal galaxies by at least a factor of two for dark matter particle masses $\mathrm{m_{\chi}\gtrsim 300 GeV}$. The lower limits on the decay lifetime are at the level of $\mathrm{\tau^{95% CL} \gtrsim 10^{24} s}$. Finally, we address the interpretation of the cosmic ray lepton anomalies measured by ATIC and PAMELA in terms of dark matter annihilation, and show that the VERITAS observations of Segue 1 disfavor such a scenario.
    02/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The giant radio galaxy M 87 with its proximity (16 Mpc), famous jet, and very massive black hole ((3 – 6) × 109 M ☉) provides a unique opportunity to investigate the origin of very high energy (VHE; E > 100 GeV) γ-ray emission generated in relativistic outflows and the surroundings of supermassive black holes. M 87 has been established as a VHE γ-ray emitter since 2006. The VHE γ-ray emission displays strong variability on timescales as short as a day. In this paper, results from a joint VHE monitoring campaign on M 87 by the MAGIC and VERITAS instruments in 2010 are reported. During the campaign, a flare at VHE was detected triggering further observations at VHE (H.E.S.S.), X-rays (Chandra), and radio (43 GHz Very Long Baseline Array, VLBA). The excellent sampling of the VHE γ-ray light curve enables one to derive a precise temporal characterization of the flare: the single, isolated flare is well described by a two-sided exponential function with significantly different flux rise and decay times of τrise d = (1.69 ± 0.30) days and τdecay d = (0.611 ± 0.080) days, respectively. While the overall variability pattern of the 2010 flare appears somewhat different from that of previous VHE flares in 2005 and 2008, they share very similar timescales (~day), peak fluxes (Φ>0.35 TeV (1-3) × 10–11 photons cm–2 s–1), and VHE spectra. VLBA radio observations of 43 GHz of the inner jet regions indicate no enhanced flux in 2010 in contrast to observations in 2008, where an increase of the radio flux of the innermost core regions coincided with a VHE flare. On the other hand, Chandra X-ray observations taken ~3 days after the peak of the VHE γ-ray emission reveal an enhanced flux from the core (flux increased by factor ~2; variability timescale <2 days). The long-term (2001-2010) multi-wavelength (MWL) light curve of M 87, spanning from radio to VHE and including data from Hubble Space Telescope, Liverpool Telescope, Very Large Array, and European VLBI Network, is used to further investigate the origin of the VHE γ-ray emission. No unique, common MWL signature of the three VHE flares has been identified. In the outer kiloparsec jet region, in particular in HST-1, no enhanced MWL activity was detected in 2008 and 2010, disfavoring it as the origin of the VHE flares during these years. Shortly after two of the three flares (2008 and 2010), the X-ray core was observed to be at a higher flux level than its characteristic range (determined from more than 60 monitoring observations: 2002-2009). In 2005, the strong flux dominance of HST-1 could have suppressed the detection of such a feature. Published models for VHE γ-ray emission from M 87 are reviewed in the light of the new data.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2012; 746(2):151. · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: VERITAS has been monitoring the very-high-energy (VHE; >100GeV) gamma-ray activity of the radio galaxy M87 since 2007. During 2008, flaring activity on a timescale of a few days was observed with a peak flux of (0.70 +- 0.16) X 10^{-11} cm^{-2} s^{-1} at energies above 350GeV. In 2010 April, VERITAS detected a flare from M87 with peak flux of (2.71 +- 0.68) X 10^{-11} cm^{-2} s^{-1} for E>350GeV. The source was observed for six consecutive nights during the flare, resulting in a total of 21 hr of good quality data. The most rapid flux variation occurred on the trailing edge of the flare with an exponential flux decay time of 0.90^{+0.22}_{-0.15} days. The shortest detected exponential rise time is three times as long, at 2.87^{+1.65}_{-0.99} days. The quality of the data sample is such that spectral analysis can be performed for three periods: rising flux, peak flux, and falling flux. The spectra obtained are consistent with power-law forms. The spectral index at the peak of the flare is equal to 2.19 +- 0.07. There is some indication that the spectrum is softer in the falling phase of the flare than the peak phase, with a confidence level corresponding to 3.6 standard deviations. We discuss the implications of these results for the acceleration and cooling rates of VHE electrons in M87 and the constraints they provide on the physical size of the emitting region.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2011; 746(2). · 6.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abridged: The giant radio galaxy M 87 with its proximity, famous jet, and very massive black hole provides a unique opportunity to investigate the origin of very high energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray emission generated in relativistic outflows and the surroundings of super-massive black holes. M 87 has been established as a VHE gamma-ray emitter since 2006. The VHE gamma-ray emission displays strong variability on timescales as short as a day. In this paper, results from a joint VHE monitoring campaign on M 87 by the MAGIC and VERITAS instruments in 2010 are reported. During the campaign, a flare at VHE was detected triggering further observations at VHE (H.E.S.S.), X-rays (Chandra), and radio (43 GHz VLBA). The excellent sampling of the VHE gamma-ray light curve enables one to derive a precise temporal characterization of the flare: the single, isolated flare is well described by a two-sided exponential function with significantly different flux rise and decay times. While the overall variability pattern of the 2010 flare appears somewhat different from that of previous VHE flares in 2005 and 2008, they share very similar timescales (~day), peak fluxes (Phi(>0.35 TeV) ~= (1-3) x 10^-11 ph cm^-2 s^-1), and VHE spectra. 43 GHz VLBA radio observations of the inner jet regions indicate no enhanced flux in 2010 in contrast to observations in 2008, where an increase of the radio flux of the innermost core regions coincided with a VHE flare. On the other hand, Chandra X-ray observations taken ~3 days after the peak of the VHE gamma-ray emission reveal an enhanced flux from the core. The long-term (2001-2010) multi-wavelength light curve of M 87, spanning from radio to VHE and including data from HST, LT, VLA and EVN, is used to further investigate the origin of the VHE gamma-ray emission. No unique, common MWL signature of the three VHE flares has been identified.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2011; 746:151. · 6.73 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

835 Citations
622.12 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of Chicago
      • Enrico Fermi Institute
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Department of Physics
      Saint Louis, MO, United States
  • 1022–2013
    • University of Leeds
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Leeds, England, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 2008
    • Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron
      Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
      • Department of Physics
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2005
    • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2003
    • Iowa State University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Ames, IA, United States
  • 1995–1999
    • Max Planck Institute of Physics
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1991–1998
    • Durham University
      • Department of Physics
      Durham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1997
    • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
      Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany