Biography

Robert Ferdman joined UEA as a Lecturer in Physics in 2016.  He obtained his doctorate from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  He subsequently became a postdoctoral researcher with the Observatoire de Paris as part of the radio astronomy group, stationed in Orléans, France.  He then took up Research Associate positions in the UK at the University of Manchester, then at McGill University in Montreal, back in his home country of Canada, before returning to the UK, to take up a Lectureship here at UEA.

Dr. Ferdman’s research work focuses on observational astrophysics, particularly on the study of pulsars and analyzing pulsar data to perform a wide variety of astrophysics.  Pulsars are the neutron star (NS) remnants of supernova explosions. They produce radio emission beams from their magnetic poles, which are detected once per rotation, every time the beam sweeps past our line of sight. They often display outstanding rotational stability, approaching that of atomic clocks over timescales of several years.  Dr. Ferdman takes advantage of the astounding timing precision of pulsars to perform the most demanding tests of Einstein's theory of general relativity, constrain the evolutionary histories of compact stellar binaries that are formed from high-mass stars, and is member of large international collaborations that regularly observe an array of pulsars as a Galactic-scale gravitational-wave detector, and search for even more pulsars with which this exciting science can be performed.

Selected publications

L. G. Spitler, P. Scholz, J. W. T. Hessels, S. Bogdanov, A. Brazier, F. Camilo, S. Chatterjee, J. M. Cordes, F. Crawford, J. Deneva, R. D. Ferdman, P. C. C. Freire, V. M. Kaspi, P. Lazarus, R. Lynch, E. C. Madsen, M. A. McLaughlin, C. Patel, S. M. Ransom, A. Seymour, I. H. Stairs, B. W. Stappers, J. van Leeuwen, W. W. Zhu (2016).
A Repeating Fast Radio Burst.
Nature, 531: 202-205.

Z. Arzoumanian, A. Brazier, S. Burke-Spolaor, S. Chamberlin, S. Chatterjee, B. Christy, J. M. Cordes, N. Cornish, K. Crowter, P. B. Demorest, T. Dolch, J. A. Ellis, R. D. Ferdman, E. Fonseca, N. Garver-Daniels, M. E. Gonzalez, F. A. Jenet, G. Jones, M. Jones, V. M. Kaspi, M. Koop, T. J. W. Lazio, M. T. Lam, L. Levin, A. N. Lommen, D. R. Lorimer, J. Luo, R. S. Lynch, D. Madison, M. A. McLaughlin, S. T. McWilliams, D. J. Nice, N. Palliyaguru, T. T. Pennucci, S. M. Ransom, X. Siemens, I. H. Stairs, D. R. Stinebring, K. Stovall, J. K. Swiggum, M. Vallisneri, R. van Haasteren, Y. Wang, W. W. Zhu (2016).
The NANOGrav nine-year data set: limits on the isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background.
The Astrophysical Journal, 821, 13.

R. D. Ferdman, I. H. Stairs, M. Kramer, G. H. Janssen, C. G. Bassa, B. W. Stappers, P. B. Demorest, I. Cognard, G. Desvignes, G. Theureau, M. Burgay, A. G. Lyne, R. N. Manchester, A. Possenti (2014).
PSR J1756–2251: A pulsar with a light neutron star companion.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 443, 2183.

R. D. Ferdman, R. F. Archibald, V. M. Kaspi (2015).
Long-term timing and emission behavior of the young Crab-like pulsar PSR B0540–69.
The Astrophysical Journal, 812, 95.

R. D. Ferdman, I. H. Stairs, M. Kramer, R. P. Breton, M. A. McLaughlin, P. C. C. Freire, A. Possenti, B. W. Stappers, V. M. Kaspi, R. N. Manchester, A. G. Lyne (2013).
The double pulsar: evidence for neutron star formation without an iron core-collapse supernova.
The Astrophysical Journal, 767, 85.

M. Kramer, I. H. Stairs, R. N. Manchester, M. A. McLaughlin, A. G. Lyne, R. D. Ferdman, M. Burgay, D. R. Lorimer, A. Possenti, N. D. D'Amico, J. M. Sarkissian, G. B. Hobbs, J. E. Reynolds, P. C. C. Freire and F. Camilo (2006).
New tests of general relativity from timing the double pulsar.
Science, 314:97-102.

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