I am an experimental astrophysicist with a strong passion for developing new instruments that will enable ground-breaking discoveries. My specialities are X-ray and gamma-ray polarimetry and spectroscopy, and applications to the observation of mass-accreting neutron stars and black holes. These objects are not only the brightest X-ray sources in our Galaxy, but also provide us with an opportunity to study the most extreme environments in the Universe.
I am the the PI of the SCOTTI project (Superconducting Titanium Imager), whose goal it is to build a balloon-borne hard X-ray telescope utilizing novel gamma-ray detectors using transition edge sensors. These cryogenic detectors will allow an unprecedented spectral resolution for soft gamma-rays. My dream is to one day build a hard X-ray space telescope with this kind of detector.
X-ray polarimetry promises insights into the geometry of astrophysical objects that are too small to be imaged by any telescope at any wavelength. I am the instrument scientist of the balloon-borne hard X-ray polarimeter X-Calibur. This instrument will measure the X-ray polarization of several Southern Hemisphere sources during its first long-duration balloon flight. A follow-up mission called XL-Calibur will make much more detailed measurements of several sources during multiple Southern and Northern hemisphere flights. I am also part of the science team of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, a NASA satellite mission that will explore the polarization of X-rays in the 2-8keV energy band, scheduled for launch in early 2021.
Finally, I like to use astrophysical observations to test fundamental laws of Physics. For example, I have written several papers using time-of-flight measurements of gamma-rays and various polarization measurements in the optical band to constrain violations of Lorentz invariance, the fundamental symmetry of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity.
Ph.D., Physics, Humbolt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
M.S., Humbolt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Photodetectors & Optical Sensors
Radiosources, Infrared, X-ray, Gamma Ray
Krawczynski, H. S., Stern, D., Harrison, F. A., Kislat, F. F., Zajczyk, A., Beilicke, M., . . . Zhang, W. W. (2016). X-ray polarimetry with the Polarization Spectroscopic Telescope Array (PolSTAR). Astroparticle Physics, 75, 8-28. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2015.10.009
Kislat, F., Clark, B., Beilicke, M., & Krawczynski, H. (2015). Analyzing the data from X-ray polarimeters with Stokes parameters. Astroparticle Physics, 68, 45-51. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2015.02.007
Kislat, F., & Krawczynski, H. (n.d.). Planck-scale constraints on anisotropic Lorentz and CPT invariance violations from optical polarization measurements. Physical Review D, 95(8). doi:10.1103/physrevd.95.083013