Panelist Biographies

  • Maxim Markevitch

    Maxim Markevitch is an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He received his PhD in 1993 from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology/Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He then worked as a visiting researcher and postdoctoral associate at the Institute for Space and Astronautical Sciences in Japan, University of Virginia, and the Center for Astrophysics. There he studied galaxy clusters and other diffuse X-ray sources using data from the orbiting X-ray observatories such as Granat, ASCA and ROSAT, and took part in ASCA calibration. In 1997, he joined the Chandra X-ray Center, where he now splits his time between calibration work and studying cluster physics with Chandra.

    Markevitch has received an award of the Russian Astronomical Society for his Granat work on diffuse emission from the Galactic center. Using ASCA data, he was the first to determine that cluster gas temperatures decline with radius, a result that was controversial at the time but recently confirmed with Chandra and XMM-Newton. He also discovered cold fronts in clusters using Chandra.

  • Douglas Clowe

    Dr. Douglas Clowe is a postdoctoral research associate in Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. He obtained his Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Hawaii in 1998, and has also been a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Plank Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany and at the University of Bonn. He will be moving to Ohio University as an assistant professor in astrophysics in September, 2006.

    Dr. Clowe's main scientific interests are gravitational lensing and galaxy clusters. He has worked extensively on measuring accurate mass profiles of clusters with gravitational lensing, how these profiles evolve over the age of the universe, and how they and other gravitational lensing measurements can be used to determine cosmological parameters. He is also a member of the ESO Distant Cluster Survey, which is studying the evolution of both galaxy clusters and the galaxies they contain shortly after the clusters were created.

  • Sean Carroll

    Sean Carroll is an assistant professor in the Physics Department and Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and has served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research ranges over a number of topics in theoretical physics, focusing on cosmology, field theory, particle physics, and gravitation. Issues addressed by this research include the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the connection of cosmology to quantum gravity and string theory, and whether the early universe underwent a period of inflationary expansion.

    Carroll has written a graduate textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, published by Addison-Wesley. He has been awarded fellowships from the Sloan and Packard foundations, as well as the MIT Graduate Student Council Teaching Award. He is a co-founder of the leading physics blog on the internet, Cosmic Variance.