Cottrell Scholar Awards - 2017
Understanding the Role of Quasar Feedback in Galaxy Evolution Across Luminosities and Redshifts
Massive, extremely remote and emitting more energy than a trillion suns, quasi-stellar radio sources – quasars – are actively growing supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies billions of light years away.
“Observational evidence suggests that quasar activity plays an important role in regulating how galaxies and their nuclear supermassive black holes grow,” says Eilat Glikman, physics, Middlebury College.
Glikman has received a Cottrell Scholar Award from Research Corporation for Science Advancement to study a sample of highly luminous dust-reddened quasars that have been shown to reside in merging galaxies, and that represent a short-lived phase in the lifetime of a quasar. She hopes to understand the physical mechanisms by which their energy output impacts their host galaxies.
She will study these sources using imaging and spectroscopic data that span the electromagnetic spectrum, from space- and ground-based facilities.
There is also an education component to the Cottrell Scholar Award. Glikman said she intends to make astronomy and physics “more inclusive to students underrepresented in astronomy, with the ultimate goal of having more voices and minds contributing to the problems we work to solve.”
To do so she will work with students from the STEM Posse program at Middlebury to teach astronomy and physics courses during a two-week summer-intensive science orientation for each incoming class. (The STEM Posse program is a national program which provides students from diverse, urban backgrounds full-tuition, four-year scholarships, helping them to complete STEM degrees.) And she will develop modules that make use of the upgraded campus observatory to invite incoming freshmen to become physics majors and pursue careers in astronomy and physics.