Physicist awarded $1.3 million for development of detectors for hard X-ray telescopes

X-ray image of solar flares
X-ray-emitting solar flares are shown in blue in this composite image of the sizzling-hot sun. (Credit: NASA)

Henric Krawczynski, PhD, professor of physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won a $1.3 million NASA grant to develop finely pixelated semiconductor detectors and their readout electrons for the next generation of telescopes able to focus light in the high-energy X-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Henric Krawczynski
Krawczynski

Among the objects whose emissions the telescopes can bring into focus are black holes, active galaxies and supernova remnants.

The detectors are destined for a follow-up mission to the NuSTAR mission, an X-ray telescope, launched in 2012 that observes high-energy astrophysics phenomena in the 3-79 keV energy band. The new detectors will be matched to a new generation of low-cost, low-mass X-ray mirrors, which achieve an order of magnitude better angular resolution than the NuSTAR mirrors.

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