Edward Kibblewhite

Senior Fellow

Biography

Edward Kibblewhite is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Enrico Fermi Institute as well as being a senior fellow of the Computation Institute. He is currently working on new ways to build very large telescopes for astronomy and specialized instruments for imaging plants round other stars ( exoplanets ) using adaptive optics to greatly reduce the effects of the earth’s atmosphere . This technology  measures the instantaneous wavefront of light from a star  and uses this data to deform the shape of a mirror that takes out the distortions. The result is to give large telescopes on earth the same resolution as those in space. Exoplanets like earth are over a billion times fainter than their parent star and require the development of new hardware and image processing technology.
 
Before joining the University of Chicago in 1989 he lead the team building the Automated Photographic Measuring facility at Cambridge University  and was its Director until 1986. He was an astronomer at the National Optical Observatories between 1986 and 1989 involved in the design of large telescopes and optical interferometry. He  visited the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing in 2012 and 2013 as a senior visiting professor.