Reshmi Mukherjee

Helen Goodhart Altschul Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Reshmi Mukherjee joined the Barnard faculty in 1997. Her teaching assignments include such courses as "Introductory Physics (Mechanics)," "Experimental Methods in Physics, " "Supervised Individual Research," and "Quantum Physics."

Professor Mukherjee's research interests are in high-energy astrophysics and astroparticle physics. She uses ground-based atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes to study galactic and extragalactic high-energy gamma-ray sources.

One of her current projects is VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System), located in southern Arizona. VERITAS is a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory that enables the study of extragalactic and galactic high energy gamma-ray sources. The VERITAS collaboration uses an array of mirrors at night to detect the quick flashes of blue Cherenkov light that result from gamma-ray air showers.

Professor Mukherjee is also involved with the study of active galaxies, thought to be powered by super-massive black holes at their centers, and unidentified high-energy gamma-ray sources.

Selected Publications

"Discovery of Very High Energy Gamma-ray Radiation from the BL Lac 1ES 0806+524," with V. Acciari, et al., The Astrophysical Journal 690L, 126 (2009).

"Search for dark matter annihilation in Draco with the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment," with D.D. Driscoll, et al., Physical Review Vol. 78, No. 8 (2008): 7101.

"On the Origin of TeV Gamma-ray Emission from HESS J1834-087," with V. Gotthelf and J. P. Halpern, The Astrophysical Journal (2008).

"Transient X-ray sources in the field of the Unidentified Gamma-Ray Source TeV J2032+4130 in Cygnus," with E. V. Gotthelf and J. P. Halpern, Proceedings of the Conference The Multi-Messenger Approach to High-Energy Gamma-ray Sources, Barcelona/Spain (2006).

"Chandra Observation of the Unidentified TeV Gamma-Ray Source HESS J1303-631 in the Galactic Plane," with J. P. Halpern, The Astrophysical Journal 629, 1017 (2005).

"Multifrequency Strategies for the Identification of Gamma-Ray Sources," with J. P. Halpern, Cosmic Gamma-ray Sources, K. S. Cheng and G. E. Romero eds. (Kluwer Academic Press, 2004).

"Search for a Point-Source Counterpart of the Unidentified Gamma-Ray Source TeV J2032+4130 in Cygnus," with J. P. Halpern, E. V. Gotthelf, M.Eracleous, and N. Mirabal, The Astrophysical Journal 589, 487 (2003).

"Predictions of the High-Energy Emission from BL Lac Objects: The Case of W Comae," with M. Boettcher and A. Reimer, The Astrophysical Journal 581, 143 (2002).

"A Statistical Detection of Gamma-ray Emission from Galaxy Clusters: Implications for the Gamma-ray Background and Structure Formation," with C.Scharf, The Astrophysical Journal 580, 154 (2002).

Academic Focus: 

Experimental astrophysics




BS, Presidency College, University of Calcutta

MA, MPhil, PhD, Columbia

Related Web Sites: 

In the News

This spring, the College and Barnard faculty members were honored with research grants to support the arts, economics, and STEM, enabling them to conduct new or continuing research, or to collaborate with other institutions. 

Prototype could set a standard for detecting gamma rays.

Since last May, Barnard faculty members were awarded major research grants that support a diverse array of interests, enabling them to continue existing studies and support collaborations with other institutions.

Reshmi Mukherjee, the Helen Goodhart Altschul professor of physics and astronomy and spokesperson of the VERITAS Collaboration, is part of a team of leading astrophysicists from across the globe that has released the major scientific finding today that the VERITAS array has confirmed the detection of gamma rays from the vicinity of a supermassive black hole.

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