New Astronomy Faculty: Prof. George Becker

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Prof. George Becker just joined the faculty members at the Physics and Astronomy Department at UC Riverside. His research focuses on the diffuse network of dark matter and gas that permeates the space between galaxies.

George received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, then did his Ph.D. in astrophysics at Caltech.

I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, CA before moving to the UK where I held two  positions at the University of Cambridge: a Kavli Institute Fellowship, and an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship funded by the UK’s Science & Technology Facilities Council.  My first stop back in the US was as a staff astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute.  Coming to UCR gave me the chance to be part of an outstanding astronomy group with access to with world-class observing facilities, and the opportunity to help promote science education within a diverse student body.

Known as the intergalactic medium (IGM), The network of dark matter and gas that permeates the space between galaxies is called the intergalactic medium. It provides the raw materials for galaxy formation, and its properties reflect the ways in which galaxies interact with their environments over cosmic time.

My main focus is on using the light from distant quasars to study the gas in the IGM, particularly at early times when the first galaxies were forming.  I also use characteristics of the IGM to help determine the nature of dark matter.

George also told us a little about what he likes to do during his spare time.

I enjoy music; I sing, play the trombone, and was briefly enrolled in the Indiana University School of Music.

His office is located in the Pierce Hall building and you can find his academic website here.
We are very glad he has joined UC Riverside and look forward to all of his very interesting contributions.