Dr Andrew JACOB

Student - Pgrad - Graduand
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Group: SIfA
Room: 119A
Building: A28 - Main Physics Building
Phone: 9114 1422
Fax: 9351 7726
Email: andrew.jacob@sydney.edu.au
Home page: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~ande

Research Interests
Hello! I'm presently enrolled as a PhD student in the Institute of Astronomy. I am using the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer (SUSI) to measure the changing diameters of a few of the brightest Cepheid stars.

Cepheids are very large pulsating stars, many times the Sun's diameter, but their great distances mean they appear tiny (so small it's meaningless to make a comparison). SUSI is one of only two instruments in the southern hemisphere that can 'see' the pulsations. In conjunction with radial velocity data we can find independent, and almost model-free, distances to these stars.

Our results will lead to an improved distance scale for the universe. At present we know most intergalactic distances to a precision of only about 5%. If the Sydney Harbour bridge had been built that well there would be a gap the size of a semi-trailer!

I also run the Night Observing classes for the introductory Astronomy course, PHYS1500.

So, I get to visit beautiful remote places, observe amazing distant objects and then get to pass on my knowledge to future astonomers. What a life!