R. Pereira

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlín, Berlin, Germany

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Publications (146)128.93 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We introduce a method for identifying "twin" Type Ia supernovae, and using them to improve distance measurements. This novel approach to Type Ia supernova standardization is made possible by spectrophotometric time series observations from the Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory). We begin with a well-measured set of supernovae, find pairs whose spectra match well across the entire optical window, and then test whether this leads to a smaller dispersion in their absolute brightnesses. This analysis is completed in a blinded fashion, ensuring that decisions made in implementing the method do not inadvertently bias the result. We find that pairs of supernovae with more closely matched spectra indeed have reduced brightness dispersion. We are able to standardize this initial set of SNfactory supernovae to 0.083 +/- 0.012 magnitudes, implying a dispersion of 0.072 +/- 0.010 magnitudes in the absence of peculiar velocities. We estimate that with larger numbers of comparison SNe, e.g, using the final SNfactory spectrophotometric dataset as a reference, this method will be capable of standardizing high-redshift supernovae to within 0.06-0.07 magnitudes. These results imply that at least 3/4 of the variance in Hubble residuals in current supernova cosmology analyses is due to previously unaccounted-for astrophysical differences among the supernovae
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · The Astrophysical Journal

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: see paper for full list of authors
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Previously we used the Nearby Supernova Factory sample to show that SNe~Ia having locally star-forming environments are dimmer than SNe~Ia having locally passive environments.Here we use the \constitution\ sample together with host galaxy data from \GALEX\ to independently confirm that result. The effect is seen using both the SALT2 and MLCS2k2 lightcurve fitting and standardization methods, with brightness differences of $0.094 \pm 0.037\ \mathrm{mag}$ for SALT2 and $0.155 \pm 0.041\ \mathrm{mag}$ for MLCS2k2 with $R_V=2.5$. When combined with our previous measurement the effect is $0.094 \pm 0.025\ \mathrm{mag}$ for SALT2. If the ratio of these local SN~Ia environments changes with redshift or sample selection, this can lead to a bias in cosmological measurements. We explore this issue further, using as an example the direct measurement of $H_0$. \GALEX{} observations show that the SNe~Ia having standardized absolute magnitudes calibrated via the Cepheid period--luminosity relation using {\textit{HST}} originate in predominately star-forming environments, whereas only ~50% of the Hubble-flow comparison sample have locally star-forming environments. As a consequence, the $H_0$ measurement using SNe~Ia is currently overestimated. Correcting for this bias, we find a value of $H_0^{corr}=70.6\pm 2.6\ \mathrm{km\ s^{-1}\ Mpc^{-1}}$ when using the LMC distance, Milky Way parallaxes and the NGC~4258 megamaser as the Cepheid zeropoint, and $68.8\pm 3.3\ \mathrm{km\ s^{-1}\ Mpc^{-1}}$ when only using NGC~4258. Our correction brings the direct measurement of $H_0$ within $\sim 1\,\sigma$ of recent indirect measurements based on the CMB power spectrum.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We estimate systematic errors due to K-corrections in standard photometric analyses of high redshift Type Ia supernovae. Errors due to K-correction occur when the spectral template model underlying the lightcurve fitter poorly represents the actual supernova spectral energy distribution, meaning that the distance modulus cannot be recovered accurately. In order to quantify this effect, synthetic photometry is performed on artificially redshifted spectrophotometric data from 119 low-redshift supernovae from the Nearby Supernova Factory, and the resulting lightcurves are fit with a conventional lightcurve fitter. We measure the variation in the standardized magnitude that would be fit for a given supernova if located at a range of redshifts and observed with various filter sets corresponding to current and future supernova surveys. We find significant variation in the measurements of the same supernovae placed at different redshifts regardless of filters used, which causes dispersion greater than $\sim0.05$ mag for measurements of photometry using the Sloan-like filters and a bias that corresponds to a $0.03$ shift in $w$ when applied to an outside data set. To test the result of a shift in supernova population or environment at higher redshifts, we repeat our calculations with the addition of a reweighting of the supernovae as a function of redshift and find that this strongly affects the results and would have repercussions for cosmology. We discuss possible methods to reduce the contribution of the K-correction bias and uncertainty.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We develop a new framework for use in exploring Type Ia Supernova (SN Ia) spectra. Combining Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Partial Least Square analysis (PLS) we are able to establish correlations between the Principal Components (PCs) and spectroscopic/photometric SNe Ia features. The technique was applied to ~120 supernova and ~800 spectra from the Nearby Supernova Factory. The ability of PCA to group together SNe Ia with similar spectral features, already explored in previous studies, is greatly enhanced by two important modifications: (1) the initial data matrix is built using derivatives of spectra over the wavelength, which increases the weight of weak lines and discards extinction, and (2) we extract time evolution information through the use of entire spectral sequences concatenated in each line of the input data matrix. These allow us to define a stable PC parameter space which can be used to characterize synthetic SN Ia spectra by means of real SN features. Using PLS, we demonstrate that the information from important previously known spectral indicators (namely the pseudo-equivalent width (pEW) of Si II 5972 / Si II 6355 and the line velocity of S II 5640 / Si II 6355) at a given epoch, is contained within the PC space and can be determined through a linear combination of the most important PCs. We also show that the PC space encompasses photometric features like B or V magnitudes, B-V color and SALT2 parameters c and x1. The observed colors and magnitudes, that are heavily affected by extinction, cannot be reconstructed using this technique alone. All the above mentioned applications allowed us to construct a metric space for comparing synthetic SN Ia spectra with observations.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We present a sample of normal type Ia supernovae from the Nearby Supernova Factory dataset with spectrophotometry at sufficiently late phases to estimate the ejected mass using the bolometric light curve. We measure $^{56}$Ni masses from the peak bolometric luminosity, then compare the luminosity in the $^{56}$Co-decay tail to the expected rate of radioactive energy re- lease from ejecta of a given mass. We infer the ejected mass in a Bayesian context using a semi-analytic model of the ejecta, incorporating constraints from contemporary numerical models as priors on the density structure and distribution of $^{56}$Ni throughout the ejecta. We find a strong correlation between ejected mass and light curve decline rate, and consequently $^{56}$Ni mass, with ejected masses in our data ranging from 0.9-1.4 $M_\odot$. Most fast-declining (SALT2 $x_1 < -1$) normal SNe Ia have significantly sub-Chandrasekhar ejected masses in our fiducial analysis.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: Kim et al. introduced a new methodology for determining peak-brightness absolute magnitudes of type Ia supernovae from multi-band light curves. We examine the relation between their parameterization of light curves and Hubble residuals, based on photometry synthesized from the Nearby Supernova Factory spectrophotometric time series, with global host-galaxy properties. The K13 Hubble residual step with host mass is 0.013 ± 0.031 mag for a supernova subsample with data coverage corresponding to the K13 training; at 1σ, the step is not significant and lower than previous measurements. Relaxing the data coverage requirement of the Hubble residual step with the host mass is 0.045 ± 0.026 mag for the larger sample; a calculation using the modes of the distributions, less sensitive to outliers, yields a step of 0.019 mag. The analysis of this article uses K13 inferred luminosities, as distinguished from previous works that use magnitude corrections as a function of SALT2 color and stretch parameters: steps at >2σ significance are found in SALT2 Hubble residuals in samples split by the values of their K13 x(1) and x(2) light-curve parameters. x(1) affects the light-curve width and color around peak (similar to the Δm 15 and stretch parameters), and x(2) affects colors, the near-UV light-curve width, and the light-curve decline 20-30 days after peak brightness. The novel light-curve analysis, increased parameter set, and magnitude corrections of K13 may be capturing features of SN Ia diversity arising from progenitor stellar evolution.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Our Local Group of galaxies appears to be moving relative to the Cosmic Microwave Background with the source of the peculiar motion still uncertain. While in the past this has been studied mostly using galaxies as distance indicators, the weight of type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) has increased recently with the continuously improving statistics of available low-redshift supernovae. Aims. We measured the bulk flow in the nearby universe (0.015 < z < 0.1) using 117 SNe Ia observed by the Nearby Supernova Factory, as well as the Union2 compilation of SN Ia data already in the literature. Methods. The bulk flow velocity was determined from SN data binned in redshift shells by including a coherent motion (dipole) in a cosmological fit. Additionally, a method of spatially smoothing the Hubble residuals was used to verify the results of the dipole fit. To constrain the location and mass of a potential mass concentration (e.g. the Shapley Supercluster) responsible for the peculiar motion, we fit a Hubble law modified by adding an additional mass concentration. Results. The analysis shows a bulk flow consistent with the direction of the CMB dipole up to z ~ 0.06, thereby doubling the volume over which conventional distance measures have sensitivity to a bulk flow. We see no significant turnover behind the center of the Shapley Supercluster. A simple attractor model in the proximity of the Shapley Supercluster is only marginally consistent with our data, suggesting the need for another, more distant, source. In the redshift shell 0.06 < z < 0.1, we constrain the bulk flow velocity to < 240 km/s (68% confidence level) for the direction of the CMB dipole, in contradiction to recent claims of the existence of a large amplitude dark flow.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: (Abridged) We study the host galaxy regions in close proximity to Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) to analyze relations between the properties of SN Ia events and environments most similar to where their progenitors formed. We focus on local H\alpha\ emission as an indicator of young environments. The Nearby Supernova Factory has obtained flux-calibrated spectral timeseries for SNe Ia using integral field spectroscopy, allowing the simultaneous measurement of the SN and its immediate vicinity. For 89 SNe Ia we measure H\alpha\ emission tracing ongoing star formation within a 1 kpc radius around each SN. This constitutes the first direct study of the local environment for a large sample of SNe Ia also having accurate luminosity, color and stretch measurements. We find that SNe Ia with local H\alpha\ emission are redder by 0.036+/-0.017 mag, and that the previously-noted correlation between stretch and host mass is entirely driven by the SNe Ia coming from passive regions. Most importantly, the mean standardized brightness for SNe Ia with local H\alpha\ emission is 0.094+/-0.031 mag fainter than for those without. This offset arises from a bimodal structure in the Hubble residuals, that also explains the previously-known host-mass bias. We combine this bimodality with the cosmic star-formation rate to predict changes with redshift in the mean SN Ia brightness and the host-mass bias. This change is confirmed using high-redshift SNe Ia from the literature. These environmental dependences point to remaining systematic errors in SNe Ia standardization. The observed brightness offset is predicted to cause a significant bias in measurements of the dark energy equation of state. Recognition of these effects offers new opportunities to improve SNe Ia as cosmological probes - e.g. SNe Ia having local H\alpha\ emission are more homogeneous, having a brightness dispersion of 0.105+/-0.012 mag.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the relationship between Type Ia Supernova (SN Ia) Hubble residuals and the properties of their host galaxies using a sample of 115 SNe Ia from the Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory). We use host galaxy stellar masses and specific star-formation rates fitted from photometry for all hosts, as well as gas-phase metallicities for a subset of 69 star-forming (non-AGN) hosts, to show that the SN Ia Hubble residuals correlate with each of these host properties. With these data we find new evidence for a correlation between SN Ia intrinsic color and host metallicity. When we combine our data with those of other published SN Ia surveys, we find the difference between mean SN Ia brightnesses in low and high mass hosts is 0.077 +- 0.014 mag. When viewed in narrow (0.2 dex) bins of host stellar mass, the data reveal apparent plateaus of Hubble residuals at high and low host masses with a rapid transition over a short mass range (9.8 <= log(M_*/M_Sun) <= 10.4). Although metallicity has been a favored interpretation for the origin of the Hubble residual trend with host mass, we illustrate how dust in star-forming galaxies and mean SN Ia progenitor age both evolve along the galaxy mass sequence, thereby presenting equally viable explanations for some or all of the observed SN Ia host bias.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present photometric and spectroscopic observations of galaxies hosting Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed by the Nearby Supernova Factory. Combining Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) UV data with optical and near-infrared photometry, we employ stellar population synthesis techniques to measure SN Ia host galaxy stellar masses, star formation rates (SFRs), and reddening due to dust. We reinforce the key role of GALEX UV data in deriving accurate estimates of galaxy SFRs and dust extinction. Optical spectra of SN Ia host galaxies are fitted simultaneously for their stellar continua and emission lines fluxes, from which we derive high-precision redshifts, gas-phase metallicities, and Hα-based SFRs. With these data we show that SN Ia host galaxies present tight agreement with the fiducial galaxy mass-metallicity relation from Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) for stellar masses log(M */M ☉) > 8.5 where the relation is well defined. The star formation activity of SN Ia host galaxies is consistent with a sample of comparable SDSS field galaxies, though this comparison is limited by systematic uncertainties in SFR measurements. Our analysis indicates that SN Ia host galaxies are, on average, typical representatives of normal field galaxies.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present a novel class of models for Type Ia supernova time-evolving spectral energy distributions (SED) and absolute magnitudes: they are each modeled as stochastic functions described by Gaussian processes. The values of the SED and absolute magnitudes are defined through well-defined regression prescriptions, so that data directly inform the models. As a proof of concept, we implement a model for synthetic photometry built from the spectrophotometric time series from the Nearby Supernova Factory. Absolute magnitudes at peak $B$ brightness are calibrated to 0.13 mag in the $g$-band and to as low as 0.09 mag in the $z=0.25$ blueshifted $i$-band, where the dispersion includes contributions from measurement uncertainties and peculiar velocities. The methodology can be applied to spectrophotometric time series of supernovae that span a range of redshifts to simultaneously standardize supernovae together with fitting cosmological parameters.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We present 32 epochs of optical (3300-9700 \AA) spectrophotometric observations of the nearby quintessential "normal" type Ia supernova (SN Ia) SN 2011fe in the galaxy M101, extending from -15 to +97 d with respect to B-band maximum, obtained by the Nearby Supernova Factory collaboration. SN 2011fe is the closest (\mu = 29.04) and brightest (Bmax = 9.94 mag) SN Ia observed since the advent of modern large scale programs for the intensive periodic followup of supernovae. Both synthetic light curve measurements and spectral feature analysis attest to the normality of SN 2011fe. There is very little evidence for reddening in its host galaxy. The homogeneous calibration, intensive time sampling, and high signal-to-noise ratio of the data set make it unique. Thus it is ideal for studying the physics of SN Ia explosions in detail, and for furthering the use of SNe Ia as standardizable candles for cosmology. Several such applications are shown, from the creation of a bolometric light curve and measurement of the 56Ni mass, to the simulation of detection thresholds for unburned carbon, direct comparisons with other SNe Ia, and existing spectral templates.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present a new atmospheric extinction curve for Mauna Kea spanning 3200--9700 \AA. It is the most comprehensive to date, being based on some 4285 standard star spectra obtained on 478 nights spread over a period of 7 years obtained by the Nearby SuperNova Factory using the SuperNova Integral Field Spectrograph. This mean curve and its dispersion can be used as an aid in calibrating spectroscopic or imaging data from Mauna Kea, and in estimating the calibration uncertainty associated with the use of a mean extinction curve. Our method for decomposing the extinction curve into physical components, and the ability to determine the chromatic portion of the extinction even on cloudy nights, is described and verified over the wide range of conditions sampled by our large dataset. We demonstrate good agreement with atmospheric science data obtain at nearby Mauna Loa Observatory, and with previously published measurements of the extinction above Mauna Kea.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present optical photometry and spectroscopy of five type Ia supernovae discovered by the Nearby Supernova Factory selected to be spectroscopic analogues of the candidate super-Chandrasekhar-mass events SN 2003fg and SN 2007if. Their spectra are characterized by hot, highly ionized photospheres near maximum light, for which SN 1991T supplies the best phase coverage among available close spectral templates. Like SN 2007if, these supernovae are overluminous (-19.5 < M_V < -20) and the velocity of the Si II 6355 absorption minimum is consistent with being constant in time from phases as early as a week before, and up to two weeks after, $B$-band maximum light. We interpret the velocity plateaus as evidence for a reverse-shock shell in the ejecta formed by interaction at early times with a compact envelope of surrounding material, as might be expected for SNe resulting from the mergers of two white dwarfs. We use the bolometric light curves and line velocity evolution of these SNe to estimate important parameters of the progenitor systems, including nickel-56 mass, total progenitor mass, and masses of shells and surrounding carbon/oxygen envelopes. We find that the reconstructed total progenitor mass distribution of the events (including SN 2007if) is bounded from below by the Chandrasekhar mass, with SN 2007if being the most massive. We discuss the relationship of these events to the emerging class of super-Chandrasekhar-mass SNe Ia, estimate the relative rates, compare the mass distribution to that expected for double-degenerate SN Ia progenitors from population synthesis, and consider implications for future cosmological Hubble diagrams.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: The nearby Type Ia supernova SN 2011fe in M101 (cz=241 km s^-1) provides a unique opportunity to study the early evolution of a "normal" Type Ia supernova, its compositional structure, and its elusive progenitor system. We present 18 high signal-to-noise spectra of SN 2011fe during its first month beginning 1.2 days post-explosion and with an average cadence of 1.8 days. This gives a clear picture of how various line-forming species are distributed within the outer layers of the ejecta, including that of unburned material (C+O). We follow the evolution of C II absorption features until they diminish near maximum light, showing overlapping regions of burned and unburned material between ejection velocities of 10,000 and 16,000 km s^-1. This supports the notion that incomplete burning, in addition to progenitor scenarios, is a relevant source of spectroscopic diversity among SNe Ia. The observed evolution of the highly Doppler-shifted O I 7774 absorption features detected within five days post-explosion indicate the presence of O I with expansion velocities from 11,500 to 21,000 km s^-1. The fact that some O I is present above C II suggests that SN 2011fe may have had an appreciable amount of unburned oxygen within the outer layers of the ejecta.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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    ABSTRACT: The nearby supernova SN 2011fe can be observed in unprecedented detail. Therefore, it is an important test case for Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) models, which may bring us closer to understanding the physical nature of these objects. Here, we explore how available and expected future observations of SN 2011fe can be used to constrain SN Ia explosion scenarios. We base our discussion on three-dimensional simulations of a delayed detonation in a Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarf and of a violent merger of two white dwarfs-realizations of explosion models appropriate for two of the most widely-discussed progenitor channels that may give rise to SNe Ia. Although both models have their shortcomings in reproducing details of the early and near-maximum spectra of SN 2011fe obtained by the Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory), the overall match with the observations is reasonable. The level of agreement is slightly better for the merger, in particular around maximum, but a clear preference for one model over the other is still not justified. Observations at late epochs, however, hold promise for discriminating the explosion scenarios in a straightforward way, as a nucleosynthesis effect leads to differences in the 55Co production. SN 2011fe is close enough to be followed sufficiently long to study this effect.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · The Astrophysical Journal Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We present convincing evidence of unburned carbon at photospheric velocities in new observations of 5 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) obtained by the Nearby Supernova Factory. These SNe are identified by examining 346 spectra from 124 SNe obtained before +2.5 d relative to maximum. Detections are based on the presence of relatively strong C II 6580 absorption "notches" in multiple spectra of each SN, aided by automated fitting with the SYNAPPS code. Four of the 5 SNe in question are otherwise spectroscopically unremarkable, with ions and ejection velocities typical of SNe Ia, but spectra of the fifth exhibits high-velocity (v > 20,000 km/s) Si II and Ca II features. On the other hand, the light curve properties are preferentially grouped, strongly suggesting a connection between carbon-positivity and broad band light curve/color behavior: Three of the 5 have relatively narrow light curves but also blue colors, and a fourth may be a dust-reddened member of this family. Accounting for signal-to-noise and phase, we estimate that 22 +10/-6% of SNe Ia exhibit spectroscopic C II signatures as late as -5 d with respect to maximum. We place these new objects in the context of previously recognized carbon-positive SNe Ia, and consider reasonable scenarios seeking to explain a physical connection between light curve properties and the presence of photospheric carbon. We also examine the detailed evolution of the detected carbon signatures and the surrounding wavelength regions to shed light on the distribution of carbon in the ejecta. Our ability to reconstruct the C II 6580 feature in detail under the assumption of purely spherical symmetry casts doubt on a "carbon blobs" hypothesis, but does not rule out all asymmetric models. A low volume filling factor for carbon, combined with line-of-sight effects, seems unlikely to explain the scarcity of detected carbon in SNe Ia by itself.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Type Ia supernovae are key tools to study accelerating expansion of the Universe. However despite active research, physics of such objects remain uncertain. To better understand potential systematics we investigate on local host galaxy properties. In this preliminary analysis, we find gas derived quantities such as metallicity and star formation rate compatible to those present in literature. Finally we show a relationship between SALT2 color and x1 with star formation activity.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011

Publication Stats

752 Citations
128.93 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2013-2014
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2011-2014
    • Claude Bernard University Lyon 1
      Villeurbanne, Rhône-Alpes, France
    • University of Lyon
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
    • Pierre and Marie Curie University - Paris 6
      • Laboratoire de Physique Nucléaire et des Hautes Energies (LPNHE)
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2012-2013
    • University of Bonn
      • Physics Institute
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2009-2013
    • Institut de Physique Nucléaire de Lyon
      Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2008
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Physics Division
      Berkeley, California, United States