Nolan Matthews head shot

Nolan Matthews

University of Utah

Recipient of the Payne-Gaposchkin Dissertation Award

For the development and demonstration of Hanbury Brown & Twiss Stellar Interferometry using the VERITAS array of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes, including the first demonstration of digital electronically interconnected interferometric observations using an array of visible band telescopes.

About the Recipient

Nolan Matthews’ research focuses on developing technologies and instruments to expand our knowledge of stellar astrophysics, primarily using the technique of intensity interferometry. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2013, and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Utah under the supervision of his advisor Dr. David Kieda in 2020. His thesis was on the development and first observations with the VERITAS stellar intensity interferometer. This work enabled the four individual Cherenkov telescopes of VERITAS, a ground-based gamma ray observatory located in Amado, AZ, to operate as an optical interferometer, allowing for the characterization of stellar targets with sub- milliarcsecond resolution at short optical wavelengths. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral research assistant at the Université de la Côte d’Azur applying intensity interferometry techniques onto conventional optical telescopes.

About the Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Doctoral Dissertation Award in Astrophysics

The award was established in 2013 by the Division of Astrophysics (DAP) as the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award in Astrophysics. In 2018 it was renamed for Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, and generously endowed by the Heising-Simons Foundation.