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Jordi Miralda-Escudé

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, gravitational lensing and dark matter in the Universe, the intergalactic medium, and black holes in galactic nuclei. Over the last few years I have focused on the large-scale distribution of intergalactic gas probed by absorption spectra in quasar spectroscopic surveys. 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, the study of tidal streams of stars left by stellar systems orbiting the Milky Way galaxy, and several techniques to detect axion waves as a highly promising dark matter candidate.

Selected publications

– Palau, Carles G.; Miralda-Escudé, Jordi 2021, ‘The tidal stream generated by the globular cluster NGC 3201‘, Monthly Notices Of The Royal Astronomical Society, 504, 2, 2727 – 2741.

– Alvarez Melcon, A., et al. 2021, ‘First results of the CAST-RADES haloscope search for axions at 34.67 mu eV’, Journal Of High Energy Physics, , 10, 075.

– Abeln A, et al. 2021, ‘Conceptual Design of BabyIAXO, the Intermediate Stage toward the International Axion Observatory‘, Journal of High Energy Physics, 5, 137.

Selected research activities

This year I have been learning and acquiring experience on a new research area for me, axion detection experiments, through the participation in the IAXO and RADES experiments. I have been involved also in research with students on the study of the dark matter halo of the Milky Way using tidal streams, and on the evolution of the hypothetical minihalos of dark matter that would form if dark matter is composed of axions.

ICREA Memoir 2021