Mark Devlin

Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Professor
4N8
(215) 573-7521
(215) 898-2010
  • 2006- Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003-2006 Class of 1965 Term Chair, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2000-2003 Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1996-2000 Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1995-1996 Research Associate, Princeton University
  • 1994-1995 Postdoctoral Researcher, Princeton University
  • 1993-1994 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California at Berkeley
Education: 

M.S., Ph.D, University of California at Berkeley (1993)
B.A., University of Wisconsin – Madison (1988) 

Research Interests: 

My research focuses on experimental cosmology at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. Cosmology is the study how the Universe came into being and how it evolved into what we see today. Unlike a traditional astronomer who might study an individual star or galaxy to determine its properties, I collect data from which I make statistical inferences about the evolutionary history of the Universe. To this end, I design and build sophisticated instrumentation and telescopes which I use to observe from high-altitude balloons and the high-plateaus of Chile. When we look out into the nearby Universe we see that it is very ordered. There are stars like our Sun with planets orbiting them. Our Galaxy is composed of stars that orbit its center. Our Galaxy, in turn, is part of a large group of galaxies that interact weakly. This hierarchical ordering extends to scales of approximately one-billion light-years. For comparison, our Galaxy is about one-hundred-thousand light years in diameter. These observations lead us to pose a number of questions such as: What was the state of the Universe near its beginning? These initial conditions will set the stage for the growth of structure. What are the fundamental parameters that govern the formation of structure and what are their values? How does structure evolve over time? Current Work I am currently involved in three separate projects that span a wide range of scientific goals that explore the questions posed above. BLAST: I am the PI of an instrument called the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope - BLAST. This instrument is designed to produce confusion-limited (approximately one source for every 30 pixels) and wide-area extragalactic and Galactic surveys from a long-duration balloon (LDB) platform. BLAST's successful test-flight in September 2003 paved the way for a series of long-duration (5-15 day) science balloon-flights at altitudes of 40 km. At this altitude the atmospheric transparancy is > 99% in the BLAST bands. Its focal-plane arrays (with 280 bolometric detectors) provide simultaneous images at 1.2, 0.86 and 0.6 THz with resolutions of 35-70 arcseconds, respectively, over an 86 square arcminute field of view. By providing the first sensitive large-area (0.5 - 40 square degrees) surveys at these short sub-mm wavelengths, BLAST will address some of the most important galactic and cosmological questions regarding the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and clusters. Galactic and extragalactic BLAT surveys will: (i) identify large numbers of high-redshift galaxies; (ii) measure photometric redshifts, rest-frame far-infrared luminosities, and star formation rates thereby constraining the evolutionary history of the galaxies that produce the far-infrared and submillimeter background; (iii) detect cold pre-stellar sources associated with the earliest stages of star and planet formation; (iv) make high-resolution maps of diffuse Galactic emission over a wide range of galactic latitudes. BLAST had its first long-duration balloon flight from Kiruna, Sweden to Victoria Island, Canada in June of 2005. We had a very successful flight from Antarctica in late 2006 which produced a number of groundbreaking results. For more information see the project webstite at http://blastexperiment.info. To get information BLAST! the movie, see http://blastthemovie.com/ While the BLAST instrument was largely destroyed at the termination of the Antarctic flight, we recovered the key components and have completely rebuilt the instrument. We plan to fly it again in late 2010 as a submillimeter polarimeter to study the effects of magnetic fields on star formation. ACT: Another major project is the Atacama Cosmolgy Telescope - ACT. This 6-meter-diameter telescope will utilize 3000 bolometric detectors operating at 150, 220, and 270 GHz. ACT will map over 100 square degrees with an error of 2 µK for 1.7 arcmin X 1.7 arcmin pixels. We will identify 500 to 1000 clusters of galaxies though the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect. By studying these clusters with masses greater than 1014 Msun (1014 times the mass of the Sun), ACT will probe the evolution of cosmic structure and place limits on cosmological parameters including the mass of the neutrino to 0.1 eV. The high resolution and sensitivity of the instrument will allow us to probe the total mass distribution directly on length scales of ~1 mega-parsec at redshifts between 1 and 2 by looking at gravitational lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) by intervening matter. The telescope is currently operating at the site. We are going to upgrade the receiver to make continued measurements of the polarization of the CMB at small angular scales. http://www.physics.princeton.edu/act/ MUSTANG: I am also the PI of a project to build a 90 GHz receiver for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's (NRAO's) 100 meter Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This receiver has 64 transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers. We achieved first light in the 2007/2008 observing season. In the 2008/2009 season we made significant upgrades to the instrument and NRAO improved the GBT surface. We were able to make some of the best high-resolution maps of SZ clusters. In the 2009/2010 observing season we will field a new 10x10 array build by NIST. Combined with improved surface efficiency of the GBT, the mapping speed of MUSTANG will be improved by a factor of 20. Our ultimate goal is to build MASTERCAM. This cameral will have 600 feedhorn-coupled detectors with a large field of view. It will be the ultimate high resolution mapping instrument at 90 GHz.

Selected Publications: 

 

  1. M. Lima, B. Jain, and M. Devlin, "Lensing Magnification: Implications for Counts of Submillimeter Galaxies and SZ Clusters," ArXiv e-prints , July 2009.
  2. M. J. Devlin, P. A. R. Ade, I. Aretxaga, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, L. Moncelsi, C. B. Netterfield, H. Ngo, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, and D. V. Wiebe, "Over half of the far-infrared background light comes from galaxies at z > 1.2," Nature 458,pp. 737-739, Apr. 2009.
  3. E. Pascale, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, J. Chung, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, C. J. MacTavish, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, and D. V. Wiebe, "The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST," ApJ 681, pp. 400–414, July 2008.
  4. G. Patanchon, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, and D. V. Wiebe, "SANEPIC: A mapmaking Method for Time Stream Data from Large Arrays," ApJ 681, pp. 708–725, July 2008.
  5. E. L. Chapin, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, C. Brunt, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, and D. V. Wiebe, "The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope BLAST) 2005: A 4 deg2 Galactic Plane Survey in Vulpecula (l = 59?)," ApJ 681, pp. 428–452, July 2008.
  6. M. D. P. Truch, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, M. J. Devlin, S. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, and D. V. Wiebe, "The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope(BLAST) 2005: Calibration and Targeted Sources," ApJ 681, pp. 415–427, July 2008.
  7. S. Dicker and M. Devlin, "Millimeter Wave Re-Imaging Optics for the 100 meter Green Bank Telescope," Appl. Opt. 44, pp. 5855–5858, 2005.
  8. M. J. Devlin, P. A. R. Ade, I. Aretxaga, J. J. Bock, J. Chung, E. Chapin, S. R. Dicker, M. Griffin, J. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. Hargrave, D. Hughes, J. Klein, G. Marsden, P. Martin, P. D. Mauskopf, B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, E. Pascale, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, M. Truch, C. Tucker, G. Tucker, A. D. Turner, and D. Weibe, "The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST)," in Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology. Edited by Antebi, Joseph; Lemke, Dietrich. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 5498, pp. 42-54 (2004)., pp. 42–54, Oct. 2004.
  9. M. J. Devlin, S. R. Dicker, J. Klein, and M. P. Supanich, "A high capacity completely closed-cycle 250 mK ˆ3He refrigeration system based on a pulse tube cooler," Cryogenics 44, pp. 611–616, Sept. 2004.
  10. S. R. Dicker, P. A. Ade, D. J. Benford, M. J. Devlin, K. D. Irwin, P. R. Jewell, B. S. Mason, S. H. Moseley, M. P. Supanich, and C. Tucker, "A 90-GHz array for use on the Green Bank Telescope," in Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 5489, pp. 1221-1229 (2004)., pp. 1221–1229, Oct. 2004.
  11. A. Miller, J. Beach, S. Bradley, R. Caldwell, H. Chapman, M. J. Devlin, W. B. Dorwart, T. Herbig, D. Jones, G. Monnelly, C. B. Netterfield, M. Nolta, L. A. Page, J. Puchalla, T. Robertson, E. Torbet, H. T. Tran, and W. E. Vinje, "The QMAP and MAT/TOCO Experiments for Measuring Anisotropy in the Cosmic Microwave Background," ApJS 140, pp. 115–141, June 2002.
  12. A. D. Miller, R. Caldwell, M. J. Devlin, W. B. Dorwart, T. Herbig, M. R. Nolta, L. A. Page, J. Puchalla, E. Torbet, and H. T. Tran, "A Measurement of the Angular Power Spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background from L = 100 to 400," ApJ 524, pp. L1–L4, Oct. 1999. 

 

Courses Taught: 

Astro 001: Survey of the Universe