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Neil Gehrels

Neil Gehrels head shot

Neil Gehrels

Neil Gehrels is an experimental physicist working in time domain astronomy who is active in instrument development and data analysis, and dabbles in theory. His interests include gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. He is Principal Investigator for the Swift gamma-ray burst MIDEX mission. He did his PhD with Rochus Vogt and Ed Stone at Caltech on the discovery of accelerated oxygen and sulfur ions in the Jovian magnetosphere originating in the volcanoes of Io. Following a post-doc at Goddard Space Flight Center, he became a permanent employ as "astrophysicist" and then "Chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory". Other responsibilities include Project Scientist for the Compton Observatory (1991-2000), Mission Scientist for INTEGRAL, a Deputy Project Scientist for Fermi, Project Scientist for WFIRST and member LIGO Science Collaboration. Committees, societies, etc. include past Chair of the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division and the APS Division of Astrophysics, Fellow of the APS, Fellow of the AAAS, and member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His wife, Ellen Williams, is Director of ARPA-E at the Department of Energy and is on leave as a Distinguished Professor of physics at the University of Maryland. He has two children, Tom and Emily, born in 1987 and 1990. His other interests include music and moutaineering. He climbed the Nose Route on El Capitan in Yosemite in 6 day solo ascents in 2006 and 2015.

Biographical information from NASA GSFC.

Latest Planetary Radio Appearance

Neil Gehrels and WFIRST—A Space Telescope for the 2020s

March 15, 2016 • 35:30

NASA has given the go-ahead for creation of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope. It might help reveal the nature of dark energy and point the way to life among the stars.

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