Jordi Miralda-Escudé

Universitat de Barcelona

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

I learned physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and astronomy on my own and through some amateur associations in Catalonia. I did my PhD in astrophysics at Princeton University, graduating in 1991 with a thesis on gravitational lensing by clusters of galaxies and large-scale structure. I was a postdoc at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, and a Long-Term Member at the Institute for Advanced Study. I joined the University of Pennsylvania as a professor of astrophysics in 1996, and then moved to The Ohio State University in 2000. I have been back to Catalonia with an ICREA position since 2005, and I am at present doing research on astrophysics and cosmology at the Institut de Ciències del Cosmos at the University of Barcelona.

Research interests

I enjoy searching for physical explanations of what we observe in the Universe. My interests range over the formation of galaxies and their large-scale distribution in space, dark matter and dark energy in the Universe, the intergalactic medium, the formation of massive black holes and the dynamics of nuclear regions of galaxies, and gravitational lensing as a probe to the nature of dark matter. Over the last few years I have focused on the large-scale distribution of intergalactic gas probed by spectroscopic surveys of quasars in which hydrogen and heavy elements are observed in absorption. This is revealing crucial clues on both the initial conditions of the Universe and the formation of galaxies. At present I am also looking at various techniques to inquire on the nature of dark matter, among them the observation of extremely magnified high-redshift stars close to the critical curves of clusters of galaxies acting as gravitational lenses.

Selected publications

- Pérez-Ràfols I, Font-Ribera A, Miralda-Escudé J et al. 2018, 'The SDSS-DR12 large-scale cross-correlation of damped Lyman alpha systems with the Lyman alpha forest', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 473, no. 3, pp 3019-3038.

- Draine BT & Miralda-Escudé J 2018, 'Absorption by Spinning Dust: A Contaminant for High-Redshift 21-cm Observations', The Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 858, no. 2, pp L10-14.

- Mas-Ribas L, Riemer-Sorensen S, Hennawi JF, Miralda-Escude J, O'Meara JM, Perez-Rafols I, Murphy MT & Webb JK 2018, 'Origin of Metals around Galaxies. I. Catalogs of Metal-line Absorption Doublets from High-resolution Quasar Spectra', Astrophysical Journal, 862, 1, 50.

- Gontcho A Gontcho S, Miralda-Escudé J, Font-Ribera A, Blomqvist M, Busca NG & Rich J 2018, 'Quasar-CIV Forest Cross-correlation with SDSS DR12', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 480, no. 1, pp  610-622.

- Dai L, Venumadhav T, Kaurov AA & Miralda-Escud J 2018, 'Probing Dark Matter Subhalos in Galaxy Clusters Using Highly Magnified Stars', Astrophysical Journal, 867, 1, 24.

- Pérez-Ràfols I, Miralda-Escudé J, Arinyo-i-Prats A, Font-Ribera A, Mas-Ribas L 2018, 'The Cosmological Bias Factor of Damped Lyman Alpha Systems: Dependence on the Metal Line Strength', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 480, no. 4, pp 4702-4709.

- Croft RAC, Miralda-Escudé J, Zheng Z, Blomqvist M & Pieri M 2018, 'Intensity Mapping with SDSS/BOSS Lyman-alpha emission, quasars, and their Lyman-alpha Forest', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 481, no. 1, pp 1320-1336.

- Arinyo-i-Prats A, Mas-Ribas L, Miralda-Escudé J, Pérez-Ràfols I & Noterdaeme P 2018, 'A Metal-Line Strength Indicator for Damped Lyman Alpha Systems at Low Signal-to-Noise', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 481, no. 3, pp 3921-3934.