Chris Packham, Ph.D.
Areas of Specialization
- active galactic nuclei
- infrared instrumentation
- infrared observations
- stellar discs
Ph.D. in Astrophysics; University of Hertfordshire
B.S. in Astronomy with Applied Physics; University of Hertfordshire
Dr. Packham's research foci are: 1) supermassive black holes in external galaxies; 2) protoplanetary discs around stars; and 3) the construction of infrared instrumentation for the world's largest/most advanced telescopes in order to enable such observations.
His current work is focused on jointly leading an international group of astronomers to use large telescopes to examine supermassive black holes in external galaxies. He is also jointly leading an instrumentation examination for the next generation of telescopes (the international Thirty Meter Telescope), particularly with colleagues in Japan, Hawaii, and California. This work will lead to a deeper understanding of supermassive black holes, their creation in galaxies, and perhaps provide hints at a key outstanding question in astronomy - which came first, the supermassive black hole or the galaxy host. Using the same instrument, we expect to catch planets forming around other stars.