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The George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy



“Just like any other world class institute, the post-doctoral fellows are essential components of MI research. Postdoctoral fellows not only contribute to the research but also help organize workshops and conferences of MI.”

Cambridge-Mitchell Institute Collaboration

George Mitchell and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking envisioned the Mitchell Institute as a performing arts-like center for physics and astronomy—where bright people, smart ideas, and the right environment collide. As a means to this end, the Mitchell Institute and the Cambridge Centre for Theoretical Cosmology established the Cambridge-Texas A&M Collaboration. The partnership affords visiting scientists, students, teachers, and the public unparalleled opportunities to wonder, ask questions, and learn about the mysteries of the Universe.

The strategic alliance organizes an annual springtime study group hosted by Mitchell and Hawking at Cook’s Branch Conservancy where many of the world’s leading physicists and astronomers gather for informal, sustained group discussions. Hawking has been a frequent visitor to these workshops during the past ten years, writing, “I do my best work at Cook’s Branch.” Hawking is engaged in an ongoing research endeavor with James Hartle, one of his long-time collaborators, and Thomas Hertog, a former student of Hawking’s. The three cosmologists have spent many weeks together at Cook’s Branch, developing their work on inflationary models of the evolution of the Universe. Other collaborations involving Mitchell Institute and Cambridge University physicists have been concerned principally with work on the theory of black holes in general relativity, supergravity and string theory.

Giant Magellan Telescope Project

Ed Fry, Former Chair of the Physics Department and Mitchell Institute professor, Nicholas Suntzeff sit on the consortium’s board of directors. The telescope will open new avenues of scientific exploration, including understanding the origin and evolution of planetary systems; witnessing the formation of stars, galaxies, and black holes; and exploring the properties of dark matter and dark energy in the cosmos. The consortium’s members include Texas A&M, the University of Texas at Austin, the Australian National University, Astronomy Australia Limited, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, The Smithsonian Institution, the University of Arizona, and the University of Chicago.

International Collaborations

HETDEX(the Hobby Eberly Telescope at Mt. Locke, Texas)

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope(Chile)

Antarctic Telescope(highest point in Antarctica)

Dark Energy Survey (high in the Chilean Andes)

Compact Solenoid Muon (CMS) Experiment

Large Underground Xenon (LUX) Experiment

Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) Experiment

Collaborations with Physicists and Astronomers at these institutes:

Publications and Publishing

This is a partial listing of journals, archives, and databases to which Mitchell Institute faculty has contributed to: