John E. Carlstrom

Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor, Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Dept. of Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College; Director, Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA); the Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Ph.D., California/Berkeley, 1988
Contact Information
Phone: (773) 834-0269
Location: ERC 341
WWW: Web Site
The South Pole Telescope, SPT.
Observational cosmology using new instruments to measure the primary anisotropy in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation and the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect. Leader of the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI) project. DASI, a unique 13 element compact interferometric array located at the NSF Amundsen-Scott South Pole station, recently reported detection of the harmonic peaks in the CMB angular power spectrum. The new DASI data was used to set tight constraints on cosmological parameters, such as the curvature of the universe (1.04 - 0.06) and the fractional amounts of baryonic and cold dark matter. The results provide further support for Inflationary models for the origin of the universe. Current DASI observations are directed toward measuring the polarization of the CMB anisotropy.
Interferometric techniques are also used for detailed imaging of the CMB which has been scattered by hot gas associated with clusters of galaxies, the Sunyaev Zeldovich effect (SZE). The intensity of the SZE for a cluster is independent of its distance making the SZE an ideal cosmological probe. Combining SZE measurements with x-ray observations allows an independent determination of the expansion history of the universe, as well as detailed information about these extremely large structures. A major expansion of this project, which includes building a dedicated six element array of telescopes, has recently been funded. The factor of 100 increase in imaging speed provided by the new array will enable a SZE survey of the high redshift universe over a region of roughly 12 square degrees.

Ongoing Scientific Projects:

Past Scientific Projects: Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI) | Interferometric Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect Imaging Experiment (SZE) | Sunyaev-Zeldovich Array (SZA) | QUaD
KICP Highlights & News

Talks, Lectures, & Workshops

Currently in Committees
  • Budget and Policy committee
  • Wednesday Colloquium committee
  • Appointments committee (Chair)
  • Executive committee
  • PFC Executive committee
  • Space committee

KICP Publications
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

Latest Journal Publications
  1. "A 2500 deg2 CMB Lensing Map from Combined South Pole Telescope and Planck Data", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 849, Issue 2, article id. 124, 16 pp. (2017) (Nov 2017)
  2. "Baryon Content in a Sample of 91 Galaxy Clusters Selected by the South Pole Telescope at 0.2 < z < 1.25", arXiv:1711.00917 (Nov 2017)
  3. "CMB Polarization B-mode Delensing with SPTpol and Herschel", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 846, Issue 1, article id. 45, 17 pp. (2017) (Sep 2017)
  4. "A Measurement of CMB Cluster Lensing with SPT and DES Year 1 Data", arXiv:1708.01360 (Aug 2017)
  5. "The Remarkable Similarity of Massive Galaxy Clusters from z ˜ 0 to z ˜ 1.9", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 843, Issue 1, article id. 28, 15 pp. (2017) (Jul 2017)
  6. "Measurements of the Temperature and E-Mode Polarization of the CMB from 500 Square Degrees of SPTpol Data", arXiv:1707.09353 (Jul 2017)
  7. "CMB-S4 Technology Book, First Edition", arXiv:1706.02464 (Jun 2017)
  8. "A Comparison of Cosmological Parameters Determined from CMB Temperature Power Spectra from the South Pole Telescope and the Planck Satellite", arXiv:1706.10286 (Jun 2017)
  9. "ISM Properties of a Massive Dusty Star-forming Galaxy Discovered at z ˜ 7", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 842, Issue 2, article id. L15, 6 pp. (2017) (Jun 2017)
  10. "High-frequency cluster radio galaxies: luminosity functions and implications for SZE-selected cluster samples", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 467, Issue 3, p.3737-3750 (May 2017)
  11. "A Comparison of Maps and Power Spectra Determined from South Pole Telescope and Planck Data", arXiv:1704.00884 (Apr 2017)
  12. "VizieR Online Data Catalog: SPT-SZ survey galaxy clusters optical spectroscopy (Ruel+, 2014)", VizieR On-line Data Catalog: J/ApJ/792/45. Originally published in: 2014ApJ...792...45R (Apr 2017)
  13. "The XXL Survey: XVII. X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Properties of the Redshift 2.0 Galaxy Cluster XLSSC 122", arXiv:1703.08221 (Mar 2017)
  14. "Alma Observations of Massive Molecular Gas Filaments Encasing Radio Bubbles in the Phoenix Cluster", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 836, Issue 1, article id. 130, 9 pp. (2017) (Feb 2017)
  15. "SPT0346-52: Negligible AGN Activity in a Compact, Hyper-starburst Galaxy at z = 5.7", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 832, Issue 2, article id. 114, 7 pp. (2016) (Dec 2016)
  16. "Maps of the Magellanic Clouds from Combined South Pole Telescope and PLANCK Data", The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Volume 227, Issue 2, article id. 23, 20 pp. (2016) (Dec 2016)
  17. "VizieR Online Data Catalog: Full spectroscopic data release of the SPT-GMOS (Bayliss+, 2016)", VizieR On-line Data Catalog: J/ApJS/227/3. Originally published in: 2016ApJS..227....3B (Nov 2016)
  18. "Cosmological Constraints from Galaxy Clusters in the 2500 Square-degree SPT-SZ Survey", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 832, Issue 1, article id. 95, 17 pp. (2016) (Nov 2016)
  19. "CMB-S4 Science Book, First Edition", arXiv:1610.02743 (Oct 2016)
  20. "Detection of the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect with DES Year 1 and SPT", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 461, Issue 3, p.3172-3193 (Sep 2016)

Latest Conference Proceedings
  1. "Integrated performance of a frequency domain multiplexing readout in the SPT-3G receiver", Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 9914, id. 99141D 11 pp. (2016) (Jul 2016)
  2. "Large arrays of dual-polarized multichroic TES detectors for CMB measurements with the SPT-3G receiver", Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 9914, id. 991417 11 pp. (2016) (Jul 2016)
  3. "Surveying Future Surveys", American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #228, id.310.01 (Jun 2016)
  4. "The Next Generation Ground-based CMB experiment, CMB-S4", American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #228, id.301.07 (Jun 2016)
  5. "Landscape of Ground-Based CMB Polarization Measurements", APS April Meeting 2016, abstract #J11.005 (Mar 2016)
  6. "Stage 4 Cosmic Microwave Background Experiment", APS April Meeting 2016, abstract #B4.003 (Mar 2016)
  7. "Caracterizing the small scale structure of dark matter halos with strong gravitational lensing", Astrophysics of Dark Matter, Proceedings of a conference held 22-26 February, 2016 in Sesto (BZ), Italy. Online at:, id.5 (Feb 2016)
  8. "SPT-3G: a next-generation cosmic microwave background polarization experiment on the South Pole telescope", Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 9153, id. 91531P 21 pp. (2014) (Jul 2014)
  9. "Measurement of the cosmological distance scale using X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect observations of galaxy clusters", Advancing the Physics of Cosmic Distances, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, IAU Symposium, Volume 289, pp. 339-343 (Feb 2013)
  10. "Performance and on-sky optical characterization of the SPTpol instrument", Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI. Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 8452, article id. 84521F, 15 pp. (2012) (Sep 2012)

Past Visitors:
  1. Martina Gerbino, Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics, Stockholm University (2017)
  2. Massimiliano Lattanzi, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (Italy) (2017)
  3. Jacqueline Hewitt, MIT (2016)
  4. Nipanjana Patra, Raman Research Institute (2014)
  5. Rashid Sunyaev, Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (2014)
  6. Megan Eckart, NASA/GSFC (2013)
  7. Eduardo Rozo, SLAC (2013)
  8. Christopher Sheehy, University of Minnesota (2013)
  9. Yashar Hezaveh, McGill University (2012)
  10. Gilbert Holder, McGill University (2012)
  11. Douglas Applegate, KIPAC/Stanford/SLAC (2011)
  12. James Bock, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2011)
  13. Liu Jiayi, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich (2011)
  14. Steven Allen, KIPAC, Stanford University (2009)
  15. Gil Holder, McGill University (2009)
  16. James Bartlett, Astroparticule et Cosmologie, Universite Paris Diderot (2008)
  17. James Bock, California Institute of Technology (2008)
  18. Wick Haxton, University of Washington (2008)
  19. Gilbert Holder, McGill University (2008)
  20. Leslie Rosenberg, University of Washington (2008)
  21. Laurie Shaw, McGill University (2008)
  22. Massimiliano Bonamente, University of Alabama, Huntsville (2007)
  23. Keith Grainge, Cambridge University (2007)
  24. Marshall Joy, NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center (2007)
  25. Fred Lo, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (2007)
  26. Graham Smith, University of Birmingham (2007)
  27. William Holzapfel, University of California, Berkeley (2005)
  28. Lev Kofman, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (2005)
  29. Sunil Golwala, California Institute of Technology (2004)
  30. Gil Holder, McGill University (2004)
  31. Avi Loeb, Harvard University (2004)
  32. Ian McCarthy, University of Victoria (2004)
  33. Max Tegmark, University of Pennsylvania (2004)
  34. Jonas Zmuidzinas, California Institute of Technology (2004)
  35. Mike Gladders, Carnegie Institution (2003)
  36. Pengjie Zhang, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (2003)
  37. Philip Farese, University of California, Santa Barbara (2002)
  38. Paul Steinhardt, Princeton University (2002)
  39. Tony Tyson, Bell Labs Lucent Technologies (2002)
  40. Paul Vanden Bout, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (2002)
  41. David Woody, California Institute of Technology (2002)
  42. Jose Diego, University (2001)
  43. Joe Mohr, University of Illinois (2001)