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Robert J. Thornton, Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

Office: Merion Science Center 129
Phone: 610-436-2614
Email: rthornton@wcupa.edu
B.S. Lehigh University
M.S. University of Hawaii
Ph.D. University of Hawaii

I received my Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Hawaii in 2002. During my time in Hawaii I worked on instruments for a number of different telescopes, including the 8-meter Gemini telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island and the Air Force AEOS telescope atop Haleakala on Maui. Due to its location and terrain, Hawaii is the premiere place in the Northern hemisphere for astronomy.

I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where I was involved primarily with the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and its commissioning camera, the Millimeter Bolomter Array Camera (MBAC). The telescope and camera worked together at the site an altitude of 17,000 ft (5200 meters) in the Atacama Desert in Chile to map the cosmic microwave background and search for galaxy clusters at millimeter wavelengths.

Since arriving at West Chester in 2008, I have remained heavily involved with ACT as well as other collaborative instrumentation projects with the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, NRAO, NIST, and others. At West Chester, students and I divide our time between working on instruments for these collaborations and doing observational astronomy with the WCU Observatory.

Department of Physics | West Chester University
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