Cambridge-Mitchell Institute Collaboration

George Mitchell and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking envisioned the Mitchell Institute as a performing arts-like center for physics and astronomy—where bright people, smart ideas, and the right environment collide. As a means to this end, the Mitchell Institute and the Cambridge Centre for Theoretical Cosmology established the Cambridge-Texas A&M Collaboration. The partnership affords visiting scientists, students, teachers, and the public unparalleled opportunities to wonder, ask questions, and learn about the mysteries of the Universe. The strategic alliance organizes an annual springtime study group hosted by Mitchell and Hawking at Cook’s Branch Conservancy where many of the world’s leading physicists and astronomers gather for informal, sustained group discussions. Hawking has been a frequent visitor to these workshops during the past ten years, writing, “I do my best work at Cook’s Branch.” Hawking is engaged in an ongoing research endeavor with James Hartle, one of his long-time collaborators, and Thomas Hertog, a former student of Hawking’s. The three cosmologists have spent many weeks together at Cook’s Branch, developing their work on inflationary models of the evolution of the Universe. Other collaborations involving Mitchell Institute and Cambridge University physicists have been concerned principally with work on the theory of black holes in general relativity, supergravity and string theory.

Giant Magellan Telescope Project

Imagine an instrument some 22 stories high perched in the mountains of South America that, effectively, will allow one to see the beginning of the Universe. The Giant Magellan Telescope, the heir apparent to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, is an exciting leading-edge endeavor for the Mitchell Institute. Thanks to gifts of more than $33 million from George P. Mitchell and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, the Institute is a founding partner of the consortium developing and building the state-of-the-art next-generation telescope, scheduled to begin operating in Chile in 2018. Ed Fry, Former Chair of the Physics Department and Mitchell Institute professor, Nicholas Suntzeff sit on the consortium’s board of directors. The telescope will open new avenues of scientific exploration, including understanding the origin and evolution of planetary systems; witnessing the formation of stars, galaxies, and black holes; and exploring the properties of dark matter and dark energy in the cosmos. The consortium’s members include Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, the Australian National University, Astronomy Australia Limited, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, The Smithsonian Institution, the University of Arizona, and the University of Chicago.

Mitchell Institute is part of the following other international collaborations:

HETDEX  (the Hobby Eberly Telescope at Mt. Locke,Texas) 

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope  (Chile)

Antarctic Telescope  (highest point in Antarctica)

Dark Energy Survey (high in the Chilean Andes)

Compact Solenoid Muon (CMS) Experiment

Large Underground Xenon (LUX) Experiment

Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) Experiment

Mitchell Institute faculty collaborate with physicists and astronomers at the following institutes:

Australian Astronomical Observatory
Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, CA
CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
Fermilab – U.S. DOE
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy
Johns Hopkins University
Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, California
Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Seoul, Korea
Lawrence Livermore National Labs 
Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy
Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, Ann Arbor, Michigan
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Ohio State University
Physics Department, Harvard
Physics Department, Princeton
Physics Department, University of Pennsylvania
Space Telescope Science Institute
Stockholm University, Sweden
Swinburne University of Technology
Syracuse University, NY, TX
Theory Group, Imperial College, London
Universidad De Guanajuato, Mexico
University of Arizona
University of California
University of Cambridge, UK
University of Edinburgh
University of Groningen, Netherlands
University of Kansas
University of Maryland, College Park
University of New Mexico, NM
University of Texas, Austin, TX
University of Turin, Italy
University of Zurich
Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

Publications and Publishing

This is a partial listing of  journals, archives, and databases to which Mitchell Institute faculty has contributed to.

The Astronomical Journal
The Astrophysical Journal
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Classical and Quantum Gravity
Journal of High Energy Physics
Los Alamos Archive
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Nuclear Physics Electronic
Physical Review D
Physical Review Letters
Physics Letters B
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Spires HEP Database

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