Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Cassius Lamb Kirk Professor
Varian Physics Rm. 250
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4060
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How did the structure of the universe evolve with cosmic time?

Professor Kahn is the Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a large-aperture wide-field telescope now under development to survey half the sky every few nights. LSST will detect over three billion galaxies, providing detailed measurements of their red shifts, shapes, and properties. Through a technique called weak gravitational lensing, these data can be used to map out the structure of dark matter in the universe, and how that structure has evolved with cosmic time. The results will provide very sensitive constraints on the nature of dark matter and dark energy. LSST also provides crucial data on the structure of the outer regions of the Milky Way, makes a census of moving objects in the solar system, and discovers transient phenomena in the universe on a wide range of timescales.

Current areas of focus:

  • X-ray spectroscopy cosmic sources
  • Atomic physics measurements of highly charged ions relevant to astrophysical plasmas
  • Development of space and ground-based instrumentation

Career History

  • Ph.D., 1980, University of California, Berkeley
  • A.B., Physics, 1975, Columbia University
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, Columbia University, 1982- 1984
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1983-1987
  • Associate Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1987-1990
  • Associate Professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, 1989-1990
  • Professor of Physics and Astronomy, 1990-1998, University of California, Berkeley
  • Professor of Physics, Columbia University, 1995-2001
  • I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics, Columbia University, 2001-2003
  • Professor of Physics, Stanford University, and at SLAC, 2003-present
  • Deputy Director, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, 2003-2007
  • Cassius Lamb Kirk Professor in the Natural Sciences, Stanford University, 2005 - present.
  • Director of Particle and Particle Astrophysics, SLAC, 2007-2009
  • Stanford Physics Dept Associate Chair, 2010
  • Stanford Physics Department Chair, Sept. 2010-2013
  • Principal Investigator for U.S. participation, XMM-Newton Reflection Grating/CCD Experiment, Constellation-X Observatory, 1997-present
  • Deputy Project Director and Camera Lead Scientist, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project, 2004-2013
  • Director, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project, 2013 - present.
  • Elected to Fellowship, American Physical Society, 1991
  • Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2012