Pradip Gatkine

Astronomy Graduate Student
University of Maryland College Park

From Nanometers to Light Years.....




I am a sixth year graduate student at Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland College Park. As the title suggests, I am fascinated by things that are billions of light years away and I use nanometer scale wavelengths and nanoscale devices to study them! Currently, I am exploring high redshift (z > 3) Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) to probe the conditions in first billion years of the universe, when exciting things like galaxy formation and reionization of the universe were taking place. To do that, I study the absorption spectra of GRB afterglows and uncover important information about GRB's host galaxy, the circumgalactic medium (CGM) and intergalactic medium (IGM).

I am also developing an integrated astrophotonic spectrometer (on a chip!) to analyze the near infrared (NIR) light coming from early universe. This cutting-edge technology allows us to massively miniaturize astronomical spectrometers, from the size of a room to the size of a shoe-box! This is especially relevant in the era of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) where the volume of the spectrometer scales with the cube of the telescope diameter. The applications of this versatile instrumentation range from astronomy to biological analysis to mining!