Halverson develops millimeter-wavelength instrumentation to study the origins of the universe through observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). Observations of the CMB can be used to gather evidence for gravitational waves released by an early period of inflation, and can be used to constrain the neutrino mass and the understand the growth of structure and dark energy. He currently collaborates on ground-based mm-wave CMB experiments: the South Pole Telescope (SPT), POLARBEAR/Simons Array (PB/SA), and the CMB-S4 experiment. Halverson is participating in the LiteBIRD CMB Space Mission project led by JAXA, and is Co-I on a NASA grant to develop focal plane technologies for LiteBIRD and the next generation of CMB space missions. Halverson is also PI on a NASA APRA grant to develop silicon planar metamaterial lenslet arrays for CMB and submm space missions.
ASTR 2100 - Fundamental Concepts in Astrophysics
Covers topics in modern physics required for upper-level astrophysics and planetary science courses, including quantum mechanics, electromagnetic spectra, atomic and nuclear physics, and thermodynamics, in the context of astrophysics, planetary and space sciences. Also introduces key topics in mathematics to support these topics.
ASTR 3560 - Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory
Teaches students aspects of astronomical instrument design in a hands-on setting. Students will learn elementary principles of geometrical optics, diffraction, light detection, signal conditioning, data acquisition and motion control, and mechanical design. Students will apply these principles working in groups to design and build optical spectrometers.
ASTR 5550 - Observations, Data Analysis and Statistics
Spring 2018 / Spring 2020
Introduces multi-wavelength observational techniques,their limitations and effects of various noise sources. Describes basic data handling, error analysis, and statistical tests relevant to modeling. Topics include probability distributions, model-fitting algorithms, confidence intervals, correlations, sampling and convolution. Students derive physical measurements and uncertainties with hands-on analysis of real datasets. Department enforced prerequisite: senior level undergraduate physics or instructor consent will be required.