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Home News 2017 Clark Atlanta University Physics Professor Awarded $405,008 Astrophysics Grant

Clark Atlanta University Physics Professor Awarded $405,008 Astrophysics Grant

Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2017

Contact: Donna L. Brock

ATLANTA (Sept. 28, 2017)— Just as the nation’s interest is piqued with all things celestial following the August 2017 total solar eclipse, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) Physics Professor Swaraj S. Tayal has an even better reason to stare into space.  He is the recipient of a three-year, $405,008 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Astronomy and Physics Program.

Tayal’s work, which will commence on June 15, centers upon “Computational Atomic Laboratory Astrophysics for Stellar and Nebular Spectral Diagnostics.” For the lay person, he will use the grant to study infrared and optical lines in the spectra of distant stars and galaxies observed by large telescopes. Spectroscopic studies provide an excellent diagnostic tool to understand the formation, evolution, and chemical composition of galaxies, stars, and planets.

“This is extremely exciting work,” CAU President Ronald A. Johnson, says.  “This far supersedes the stereotypical ideas of space exploration often construed for entertainment purposes.  This work advances scientific discovery of the unknown.  This research actively channels ideas that will ignite new possibilities.  It portends deeper knowledge of our planet, our galaxy and, ultimately, human creation.  That it will take place at Clark Atlanta University in the heart of the Atlanta University Center, makes us all very proud.”

Tayal earned the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Agra University in India. He earned the Ph.D. in theoretical atomic physics from Roorkee University in India, and completed post-graduate studies in computational atomic physics at The Queen’s University in Belfast, United Kingdom, and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La.  He joined the Clark College (now CAU) faculty in 1994, initially serving as assistant professor.  He became an associate professor in the department in 1994, and has served as a full professor since 2008.  He was named a UNCF Faculty Fellow in 2003-2004, and was named CAU’s Professor of the Year during the 2006-2007 academic year.

His recent publications include:  “"B-spline R-matrix with pseudostates approach for excitation and ionization of atomic oxygen by electron collisions" in Physics Review (co-authored with O. Zatsarinny, 2016); "Thermally Averaged Collision Strengths for Extreme Ultraviolet Lines of Fe IX," in The Astrophysical Journal,  (co-authored with O. Zatsarinny, 2015); “Oscillator Strengths and Effective Collision Strengths for Electron Excitation of Mg VI,” in Astronomy & Astrophysics (2012); and “Transition Probabilities and Collision Strengths for Electron Excitation of Cl III,” in The Astrophysical Journal (supplement co-authored with A. M. Sossah, 2012).

Tayal, a mail and panel reviewer for NASA and NSF research proposals, as well as the Astrophysical Journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and the Canadian Journal of Physics, is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society’s Laboratory Astrophysics Division and the International Astronomical Union’s Solar Physics Division.

Category: Research, Technology, Faculty, Arts and Sciences
Keywords: Swaraj S. Tayal