J. Xavier Prochaska

Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz

In simplest words, I count atoms and measure the ways that they move. This is the primary product of absorption-line analysis, a backwards approach to performing astrophysics. In short, we use bright background sources (quasars, gamma-ray bursts, etc.) to study gas in the foreground that reveals itself in silhouette. This allow us to study the nature of galaxies and the gas in between them in unprecedented detail.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz