Physicist Rachel Mandelbaum Receives the Annie Jump Cannon Award-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Physicist Rachel Mandelbaum Receives the Annie Jump Cannon Award

Assistant Professor of Physics Rachel Mandelbaum was presented with the 2011 Annie Jump Cannon Award at the semi-annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in January 2012.

Mandelbaum was cited “for her groundbreaking contributions to the field of weak gravitational lensing of galaxies. Her work on understanding and eliminating numerous systematic effects inherent in weak lensing data have advanced this technique to the point where it can now be used with confidence for precision cosmology.”

As light from distant galaxies travels through the universe, it’s path is deflected as it passes by massive objects, causing the images of the galaxies to be distorted. The distortions are usually small, and therefore the effect is called weak gravitational lensing. When carefully measured and analyzed, weak lensing can be used to determine the large-scale distribution of both ordinary and dark matter throughout the universe.

The award is given to women within five years of receiving their doctoral degree who have made distinguished contributions to astronomy or for similar contributions in related sciences that have immediate application to astronomy.

By: Jocelyn Duffy,, 412-268-9982