New Astronomy Faculty: Prof. Frederick Hamann

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Prof. Frederick Hamann  just joined the faculty members at the Physics and Astronomy Department at UC Riverside. His research currently focuses in three broad areas of astrophysics:

One is the discovery and analysis of obscured/red quasars to understand their relationships to the early stages of quasar/galaxy evolution. Another focuses on quasar accretion disk outflows to understand the origins, energetics and physical properties of these flows and test their viability as a feedback mechanism that could regulate star formation and mass assembly in the host galaxies. A third employs quasar absorption lines to measure the full range of gaseous environments around quasars and derive further constraints on nature and evolutionary status of quasars in their host galaxies. The absorption line environments include quasar-driven outflows, ambient gas in galactic halos, remnants from recent messy mergers, starburst-driven blowouts that might accompanying quasar activity, and infall (“cold mode accretion”) from the inter-galactic medium that could be critical for galaxy assembly. These studies use numerical simulations and data from major observatories including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Atacama Large Millimeter (and sub-millimeter) Array, large ground-based facilities such as Keck, Gemini and the VLT, and wide-field surveys like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). 

Frederick received a B.S. in Astronomy-Physics and B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

About joining UCR, he says:

I’m very excited to join the faculty at UCR. This is an exciting campus with a diverse student body. I’m very impressed by the energy and forward thinking here about education and public outreach. I hope I can do my part. We also have an outstanding astrophysics group in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, which is part of a larger community of astrophysics programs in southern California. And we have access to the best observatory in the world – the twin Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. 

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

I like quiet dinners and walks on the beach… Oh wait, no. Something else… I don’t have hobbies. I really don’t. Research is my hobby. Before I came to Riverside I rode my bike a lot. That was in Florida, where it’s very flat. Now when I leave my driveway I have two choices. I can go uphill or downhill and both are bad because even downhill I have to ride back up again.

His office is located at 3013 in the Physics building (also 2134b in Pierce Hall) and you can find his published papers here.

We are very glad he has joined UC Riverside and look forward to all of his very interesting contributions.