Supermassive black holes and active galactic nuclei

Project Tags: 
Time Critical: 
Research Project Description: 

Our group carries out observational research on galactic nuclei and supermassive black holes. Ongoing projects include direct measurement of masses of black holes in galaxy centers, studies of the physical properties of active galactic nuclei including reverberation mapping (monitoring the time variability of active galactic nuclei to map out their structure on scales of light-days around the black hole), and examination of the relationships between supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. We use data from many facilities including Lick Observatory, Keck Observatory, Las Cumbres Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array. There are many opportunities for undergraduate participation in various aspects of this work, including measurement of light curves of active galaxies using robotic telescope data.


At present, I'm not able to offer any more summer research positions for summer 2019.



Undergraduate Student Participation: 

Student activities will involve data analysis and measurements, with details depending on the nature of the project. Undergraduate researchers will typically participate in group meetings to discuss their work and learn about other research projects in the group. 

Recommended coursework for students interested in research in these topics includes Physics 61C, 138, 139, and 145. (These are not prerequisites, but highly recommended either prior to or concurrent with research.)  Some programming experience will be extremely helpful.

Time Commitment: 

Time commitment depends on the nature of the research project (summer project, senior thesis research, or other academic-year research). For paid summer research projects, the standard commitment is 40 hours/week for 8-10 weeks.

Minimum GPA: 
Possibly for summer projects, depending on available funding
Contact Info: 

Aaron Barth

2172 FRH


How many hours per week will you be able to work on the project? Will you be available to work outside of the academic year (particularly during the Summer)?
List any lab and computer programming courses you have completed (with grades received) and for which you are currently enrolled.
Briefly describe any previous research experience (less than 300 words). If you have previously received course credit for student research, list those courses here (with grades received) and the name(s) of your supervisor(s).
Give a brief statement (less than 300 words) summarizing what qualities you will bring to the research program and explaining what you hope to achieve through your participation. (Is there something essential that you want to get out of the project? Paid position? Senior thesis? Co-author a journal publication?)
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