last decade has seen the opening of studies of planets around other
stars, yet we still must infer their existence indirectly. I am working
on alternative optical techniques that can lead to direct observation
of these exo-planets.
the last few years I have been trying to invent a new way of looking at
objects in the sky. X-rays, with their very short wavelengths
have much lower diffraction effects than visible light and radio
waves. Therefore, if the right instrument can be built,
astronomers would be able to view the sky with unprecedented
resolution. The eventual goal of x-ray interferometry is to take a
picture of black hole.
We are now actively engaged in developing diffraction gratings for the
Constellation-X Mission. We are investigating the use of "off-plane"
reflection gratings with the goal of improved spectral resolution.