I am a Clay
Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics (CfA). Prior to being a Clay
Fellow, I was an Einstein Fellow at the CfA. I
obtained my in PhD in Astronomy from Leiden University,
research I study merging galaxy clusters. Galaxy
clusters are the largest gravitationally bound objects
in the Universe and form through accretion of gas and by
mergers with other clusters and galaxy groups. They are
unique laboratories to study some of the most
fundamental questions in astrophysics, related to the
physics of particle acceleration and cosmic rays, the
growth of large-scale structure, and the nature of dark
I am observing these merging galaxy clusters with large radio telescopes, such as the JVLA, GMRT, and LOFAR, and X-ray satellites, such as NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The radio observations provide us with a view of the cosmic ray population in galaxy clusters. These cosmic rays are accelerated by shocks and turbulence induced by cluster merger events. The X-ray observations give a direct view of the hot shock heated gas.
Merging galaxy clusters can also be used to study the self-interaction properties of dark matter, as most of the cluster's mass is in the form of dark matter. Radio observations provide an efficient selection of merging clusters that are suitable for such studies.
In addition, massive galaxy clusters are also powerful cosmic telescopes, capable of magnifying distant galaxies, thus providing a probe of the early Universe. Radio observations of these distant lensed galaxies can be used to study their star formation.
Radio continuum emission at 120-180 MHz of Abell 2256.
The resolution is 5 arcsec and the image has a noise about
0.1 mJy/beam (annotated