Craig Lage

[LSST]My current research work involves the CCD detectors for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), shown in this artist's conception. This innovative new telescope, currently under construction at Cerro Pachon in Chile, will survey the entire southern sky to unprecedented depth. A key component of the telescope is the 3.2 Gigapixel digital camera, one of the largest cameras ever built. My work involves characterizing the astrometric and photometric distortions of the CCD detectors used in the camera, in order to ensure that the data produced by the LSST survey will be of the highest possible quality.

[Bullet Cluster]My PhD research involved detailed simulations of colliding galaxy clusters, such as the Bullet Cluster shown here. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe, and represent ideal laboratories for studying the interactions of matter on very large scales. Recent advances in instrumentation, especially the deployment of NASA's "great observatories", have generated a large amount of data on these structures. By simulating the formation and evolution of these clusters on large computing networks, we can study the distribution and evolution of the dark matter and ordinary matter that make up these clusters. This is an excellent test of our understanding of the structure of galaxy clusters, and of the laws of physics that govern their evolution. I am currently working to extend this research in two ways: first, by applying the techniques developed to study the Bullet Cluster to others clusters such as the "El Gordo" cluster, and second, by attempting to improve the modeling on non-thermal pressure.