2009 Jansky Lecturer

Dr. Anthony Readhead Awarded the 2009 Jansky Lectureship

Dr. Anthony Readhead

Dr. Anthony Readhead

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is pleased to announce that the 2009 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship has been awarded to Dr. Anthony C. S. Readhead, Director of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, Caltech. The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of Associated Universities, Inc., to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy. Each award recipient presents a scientific lecture at the NRAO sites. The date and location for Dr. Readhead's Jansky Lecture in Charlottesville, titled "The Central Engines that Power Active Galaxies," is Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 4:00 PM in University of Virginia Dome Room at the Rotunda. Readhead will also present his Jansky Lecture in Socorro, NM on Friday, January 15, 2010 in Workman 101 on the campus of New Mexico Tech following the annual New Mexico Symposium.

Anthony Readhead studied physics and mathematics at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He continued his education in England at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, where he conducted Ph.D. research on active galaxies and interplanetary scintillation under Antony Hewish, winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Readhead was awarded the Royal Society Weir Research Fellowship, dividing his time between Cambridge and Caltech (1972-77) while using Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to study active galaxies.

Readhead first visited the NRAO in spring 1975 just as the first VLBI Mk II correlator became operational. He returned to Caltech in 1977 where he was appointed professor of astronomy in 1981. From 1981-86, Readhead was the Director of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory. He contributed to the development of the technique of "Hybrid Mapping," now known as "Self Calibration," and continued his research on active galaxies, introducing several early versions of unification theories of active galaxies, based on relativistic beaming in the late 70s, including the unification between radio galaxies and quasars in 1978. Since the late 1970s, he has also made significant contributions to our understanding of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. Following his election to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995, Readhead led the team that developed, built, and operated the Cosmic Background Imager in Chile that measured the CMB total intensity and polarization spectra on small angular scales.

Readhead is now a collaborator on the innovative Q/U Imaging ExperimenT (QUIET) that will make sensitive measurements of the CMB radiation polarization, and is focusing his attention on the development of coherent detector arrays for radio astronomy. He is also the Director of the Owens Valley Radio Observatory and the Chajnantor Observatory.

We are pleased to have a scientist of Dr. Readhead's stature for the 2009 Jansky Lectureship, and we look forward to his visit and presentation this fall.

Fred K.Y. Lo
NRAO Director

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