Mark Devlin

Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Professor
Cosmology, Astrophysics, Instrumentation
(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

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. 

I currently work on four major projects:

- The Simons Observatory is a major initiative funded by the Simons Foundation.  We are building new state-of-the-art telescopes and cameras which we will deploy at our site on Cerro Toco in Northern Chile.  I am the current spokesperson for this work and lead the development of the large aperture telescope and camera.  For more information see:

- The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) is an ongoing experiment utilizing a 6 meter diameter telescope located at our site on Cerro Toco in Northern Chile.  I am currently the Deputy Director of ACT.  For more information see:

- The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Telescope (BLAST) is a long running NASA high altitude balloon program.  We have studied star formation in high-redshift galaxies as well as star formation in the Milky Way and the effect of polarized dust as a foreground for current and future CMB experiments.  I have lead BLAST for the last 17 years. We anticipate our next flight in December of 2018.

- The MUSTANG is a 3 millimeter receiver developed at Penn using microwave-MUX readout of transition edge sensor (TES) detectors developed at NIST.  We operate MUSTANG on the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia.  Utilizing the 100 meter dish we obtain 9 arcsecond resolution images of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovic effect in galaxy clusters.  See


Courses Taught: 

Astro 001: Survey of the Universe

Physics 150: Principles I

Physics 101: General Physics

CV (file):