Dr. Adam Beardsley
University of Wisconsin-Madison, BS in Physics, Math, and Astronomy, 2009 University of Washington, MS in Physics, 2010 University of Washington, PhD in Physics, 2015
My research is centered around designing, building, and using radio telescopes to study the universe around us. I work with international collaborations including the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) to detect faint radio emission from the neutral gas between galaxies when the Universe was only about a tenth its current age.
This epoch is when stars and galaxies formed and began to ionize the gas around them. Future radio telescopes will be made up of tens of thousands of antennas, all working together to observe the radio sky. There are many technological challenges to overcome and realize these instruments. Work on this front involved high performance computing, novel analysis algorithms, and exploring analog electronic solutions to deliver extraordinarily smooth bandpass response.
On a more local scale, I supervise the Completely Hackable Amateur Radio Telescope (CHART) project. This is an undergraduate student led effort to create a classroom-budget platform for students and hobbyists to explore concepts from radio astronomy, electronics, and data analysis to web development and informal education.
My students can get involved in any aspect of my research - or help me explore new directions if that’s where their interests take us! I believe practical research experiences are a great way to learn the core skills needed for a STEM career, so I urge students to get involved early and learn what they need as they go.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, where I attended UW-Madison (go Badgers!). After graduating, I went to the “other” UW (Washington) for a PhD in physics. This is where I got involved with radio cosmology research and building low frequency radio arrays. I spent six years in Seattle, then moved to Arizona for a postdoc at Arizona State University. In 2020 my wife and I finally reached our goal of moving back to the midwest when I started at WSU. We enjoy hiking, kayaking, camping, or staying in to watch a movie or play D&D.