Greg Richards
Graduate Student

B.S. in Physics, Birmingham-Southern College 2008

B.S. in Mathematics, University of Alabama Birmingham 2009

Research Interests

My personal research focuses on better understanding the nature pulsars, which are relatively tiny (about 10km in radius), extremely dense (1.4 times the mass of our Sun), and rapidly rotating stars that continue to elude a firm understanding. In particular, I am interested in studying their electromagnetic radiation in the gamma-ray energy bands above 100 MeV and above 100 GeV with two instruments: the Fermi-LAT (Large Area Telescope aboard the Fermi satellite) and the Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS).

Relatively recently in 2010, the very first pulsar detected at energies above 100 GeV became the Crab pulsar, which was detected by the VERITAS imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope array. The combined spectral energy distribution of the Crab pulsar shows no evidence for an exponential cut-off at high energies, which, at the time, was not predicted by any existing pulsar theory. Since this surprising discovery, several ground-based Cherenkov telescopes have initiated searches for pulsations from other pulsars in the very high-energy gamma-ray band, including the VERITAS array. My current research project aims to detect a second pulsar in gamma rays above 100 GeV with VERITAS.

I am currently working in the Nepomuk Otte astroparticle physics research group at Georgia Tech.

Honors and Awards:

Amelio Award for Excellence in Research by a Graduate Student, 2016

65th Lindau Nobel Laureate ORAU Fellowship, 2015

CETL Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Finalist, 2013

Summa cum laude, 2008

Phi Beta Kappa, 2008

Hoyt M. Kaylor Award for Outstanding Physics Major, 2006